First released in 1984, Footloose
now enjoys the same sort of semi-ironic nostalgic cachet as John Hughes' contemporary schlock-fests about angst-ridden teens with silly hair. This is partly due to the fact that, as breathtakingly predictable kids-against-the-squares romps go, it's really pretty tolerable, but it's mostly because of the soundtrack. The songs that appear in the film--notably Kenny Loggins' infectiously vapid title track, and gale-force screecher Bonnie Tyler's excruciating "Holding Out for a Hero"--are possessed of an awfulness so monolithic that they have transcended their era and become reliable floor-fillers at 80s nostalgia discos all over the western world.
The plot, such as it is, sees the eerily androidal Kevin Bacon playing a hip rock & roll youth from the big city rebelling against the strictures of the conservative small town in which he finds himself living. Inevitably, he falls for the daughter of his nemesis, the local preacher (the latter, it has to be said, is played with some aplomb by John Lithgow, who very nearly wrings depth from a character otherwise straight out of the colour-by-numbers guide to movie-making). Inevitably, there are some dance sequences. Inevitably, the kids win out, and the grown-ups realise that maybe they aren't so bad after all.
On the DVD: Footloose can be watched on disc, should you so desire, dubbed in German, Spanish, French or Italian. There also subtitles available in pretty well every European language, as well as Arabic, Hebrew, Russian and Turkish. Other than that there are no extras. --Andrew Mueller
Kevin Bacon (X-Men: First Class, Mystic River) leapt to stardom in this stand-up-and-cheer film as Ren McCormack, a big-city kid looking for some action after moving to a sleepy Midwest town. When Ren discovers that the town’s uptight minister (John Lithgow) outlawed rock music and dancing, he enlists his best friend (Chris Penn) and the minister’s rebellious daughter (Lori Singer) to abolish the outdated ban. With an infectious soundtrack featuring “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” and “Footloose,” everybody will cut loose to the film that started it all! 107 mins approx.