Footloose (2011)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Julianne Hough, Kenny Wormald, Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell. Musical/remake. Written by: A whole bunch of people. Directed by Craig Brewer.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Big city boy is transplanted to small religious Southern town. There he falls for the preacherís troubled daughter and challenges the townís ordinance against dancing. Teen angst and rage are calmed by cutting a rug.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The original back in 1984 made a gang of money, so some adults nostalgic for a dancing rebel without much of a cause movie may attend, but mostly this update will appeal to teens.

The pros: Good music, pretty people dancing; Julianne Hough, looking like a younger Jennifer Aniston and sounding like whisky-throated Miley Cyrus, being the prettiest of the pretty people, and life lessons are learned.

Cons: Kenny Wormald, looking like a reincarnated Bobby Rydell (he was a teen idol for ten minutes in the early 1960s), lacks the charisma (or even the height) of Kevin Bacon, who played the same role in the previous production. And those life lessons, well, most of them are taught to the grownups, because, as we all know, teens know much more than their parents.

The main problem for me is the concept: the town council, headed by the pious pastor, bans dancing because a group of teenagers were killed in a car accident after leaving a dance, ergo, dirty dancing leads to car crashes. Iím not sure I get the connection. Not paying attention to the road, drinking, driving recklessly, these I see as potential mistakes that lead to tragedies on the road. But dancing?

At one point a concerned parent makes it clear that he is weary of the kind of dancing the kids perform. And while the high schoolers argue that itís just them expressing their joy of life, the visual of mid-twenties actresses playing teen girls pole-dancing and giving a come-hither look while gyrating in skintight jeans, while beer-drinking boys ogle them gives some credence to the adultís concern.

Itís an okay film, but thereís some sexual innuendo and objectionable language by parent and child alike, and church and faith are pretty much treated the same as in any Hollywood production aimed at youth Ė dismissively.

DVD Alternative: West Side Story. Dancing gang members? Hey, it works! Based on Shakespeareís tragic Romeo and Juliet, now set in late Ď50s New York barrios, Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and the lovely Natalie Wood have turned it into one of the finest film experiences youíll ever have. See it on the biggest screen you can.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual comments.

Obscene Language: Around twenty obscenities, mostly the s-word.

Profanity: I caught no misuse of Godís name.

Violence: They dance, they argue, they dance some more; there are a couple of brief fist fights where the good guy (half the size of his opponent) beats up the bad guy; a teen hits a girl who has just smashed in his car window; a father slaps his daughter. A scratch or two reveals blood.

Sex: A couple of sexual situations, but it is only implied that the pastorís daughter sleeps with her aggressive boyfriend; the girl takes off her shirt to use as a starting flag at a car race, leaving her in her bra.

Nudity: None.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None.

Drugs: One boy at school tries to get the new guy to smoke some weed, but the lead makes it clear he doesnít do drugs; some beer drinking.

Other: None.

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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