And Now a Reasonable Look at Upcoming Movies Part 1: Footloose
The mind fucking reels.
Okay, so the premise for this one is that dancing is illegal because it got a bunch of high school students got killed because they drove drunk. Heaven forbid the police patrol closer to the raucous party and local merchants do their jobs and not sell booze to children.
The reason dancing’s illegal in the original is because of an ultra-conservative pastor. He is against it on religious grounds as it is not the activity of chaste and good Christians, but of the devil children inspired by rampant bouts of sweaty lust to rub up against each other.
That had to change given how partisan we are nowadays; even more so than when the original came out; which is saying something given that Ronald fucking Regan was in the White House at the time; the studio wouldn’t dare cross the conservative right who could potentially ruin this movie in the red states. So they turn it into a drunk-driving PSA. Even though the original wasn’t actually anti-religion.
The actual problem in the movie is addressed and solved by the police in the trailer who tell him he can do whatever he wants outside of town.
So go outside of town. Just leave. Go dance outside the city limits. They figured it out in the first one, but part of the problem in that film wasn’t so much legal as it was moral. The kids had it drilled into them that dancing was evil. The kids in the remake still want to dance and have no problem hosting secret dance offs at what appears to be a drive-in theater. The kids in the original had to be broken out of their staid existence by Kevin Bacon dancing his dick off in a barn. Or a warehouse. Or something.
The point is, Kevin Bacon had to teach the whitest kid ever to dance, and but then also inspire himself with a series of kicks and those cartwheels where you don’t touch the ground in a warehouse filled with stuff that should probably be guarded or locked up or something. By doing so, he jolts the youth into a joyous celebration of music and dance, but was also helped by the uptight Pastor who watched his charges completely miss the point and burn books.
What the fuck are they going to burn that’s going to bring Randy Quaid around?
I mean the kids were in cars. The cars helped kill them. Burn cars. Ban trucks. No tires. Only one teen per vehicle. Burn families that have more than one child. Burn the school where they met and socialized. Burn everything. Burn every bit of logic, and ideal, and principle. For the children.
A lot of my problems with movies like this is that I actually like musicals.
Go ahead; skip down to the comments to accuse me of buggery. I’ll wait.
And we’re back.
I actually like musicals. Musicals as a genre have certain tropes and formulas they must adhere to, and this is not a slight against them. Every movie must pay it’s dues to the genres it belongs to, that’s just the way it works.
Musicals take place in worlds where people bursting into song and dance is a regular occurrence. The music and dancing makes sense on every level of a musical, both in the story and as structure in the writing. It’s “Do It in a Montage” from South Park, where Stan gets better at skiing to show a passage of time. It lets characters reveal their feelings or motivations as either a monologue or back-and-forth like ‘Part of Your World’ in the Little Mermaid.
Yet with the recent spate of dancing movies, they all take place in a universe just like ours. To these people, in a similar universe, filled with all the problems ours has, dancing is the most important thing ever. The most serious problem in their life is the dancing.
Now, if you truly love dancing, and it is the medium that whatever higher power you might ascribe has chosen for you to express yourself in, great. I read comic books, play videogames, and enjoy action movies on a surface, visceral level, so who the fuck am I to tell you how to enjoy anything in your life?
However, in this instance, the problem the characters must overcome isn’t just dancing. For example, a character who wants to dance but isn’t good at it, or a competition where they have to train to beat a team that’s supposedly better than them.
There is an external force preventing them from being able to dance, and there are probably a hundred ways to solve this problem, like offering to start up a program to educate other young people about the dangers of substance abuse and drinking and driving so the law is repealed and they can dance again. Perhaps they could host a dance competitions since everyone is apparently a professional dancer. They can still dance; it’s monitored, and you can bring in friends and neighbors who don’t quite understand what you’re doing t0 slowly acclimate them.
Any of these plans might work better instead of Plan A which is, “we love to dance and we’re going to solve this problem by dancing until we change the whole darn world or we drop dead. Dead from dancing. Which we love. Just so, so, so, so, so much.”
Finally, my favorite part of the trailer is “what’s the deal with that preacher’s daughter? Is she worth all that attitude?”
How the hell do you respond to that?
“Yeah! She’s great. She fucks everybody so she’s gotten really good at it.”
“Eh. She just lies there during sex, but her blowjobs are out of this world.”
“She’s verbose, well-read, and has a sparkling personality. She knows all the best places to eat and I’ve yet to get a recommendation from her about movies or music that I haven’t loved. Once you get past her attitude, she become a really awesome person. She’s my best friend. But also the unattainable hottie for all us normies. Or maybe she’s my ex since I know her so well and her worth. Whatever. What the fuck is this, anyway? Question time and shit? Fuck.”
Join us Thursday for me reacting to Jack and Jill and the slow realization that I’m trying way too hard when I write.