1. I need to get this out of the way before I go deep here.
2. Why can’t I ever find an abandoned, empty, unlocked factory in which to park my cute but edgy Volkswagen while I gesticulate and dance and kick my legs about and punch the air and practice gymnastics to vent my frustration at the lack of church-sanctioned dancing in my new town?
3. Chris Penn actually can dance. He’s just pretending that he’s awkward so we gasp with astonishment at his “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” learning-to-have-rhythm montage sequence. Good acting, Chris!
4. Violence is normalized in Footloose. Normalized and frequent. And without consequence. So much so that I formulated a sub-list to keep track of the horror.
A few violent acts that would land someone in jail in real life:
- Teenagers steal tractors and race them and crash them.
- Chris Penn (a minor) gets face punched by mustachioed dude (a creepy grown-up man) in bar.
- Lori Singer (Kevin Bacon’s love interest) gets violently beaten by her bully boyfriend and no one cares, including Kevin Bacon. Kevin actually LAUGHS about it as he watches her touch up her makeup.
- Lori Singer crashes up ex-boyfriend’s truck with a pipe.
- Preacher dad slaps Lori Singer.
- Football guy who stands up for Kevin Bacon (the misunderstood misfit) squashes bullies into phone booth, choking one of them into submission.
- Kevin Bacon runs feet-first off the edge of a platform and kicks bully in the face at (spoiler alert!) prom.
- Keven Bacon and Chris Penn beat bullies until they pass out, then high-five while their dates woot and they all go into (spoiler alert!) prom and throw glitter in the air.
5. Kevin Bacon can’t dance. Or even if he can dance in real life he definitely had some kind of rider in his contract requiring a very unconvincing dancing body double.
6. There is full frontal male nudity in a shower scene that’s supposed to be high school boys. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
7. And while we are on the subject of confusing sex, Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer’s first passionate kiss comes on the heels of her boyfriend-with-anger-management-issues giving her a black eye. I think that Footloose would be a much more realistic and believable film if the trauma of that event made her emotionally unavailable for smooching anyone. Even an adorable misfit like Kevin Bacon.
Because otherwise, it’s a very realistic story.