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Remaking Footloose Remakes All Our Pain

Kevin_bacom When I heard they were remaking Footloose, I gnashed my teeth and clutched my chest and flipped over the kitchen table. It was a scene. The table was all done up for dinner and dishes went flying and food everywhere and glasses smashing and silverware went ting ting ting. I fell to my knees and raised both fists in the air and made this guttural animal noise that was undoubtedly indicative of dark and primal forces.

But then, in the lucid moment of reflection that followed, I deemed that reaction excessive. Don't get me wrong. On the surface, I think Footloose was a terrible 80s disaster. But a reaction so violent denotes value of a kind. What, I wondered, dwelled in the formal structure of Footloose that unleashed so much vital power?

It was 1984 and I was 12. My Mom dropped me and some friends off to see Footloose. Unbeknownst to my easily duped Mother, Stacie Scott's Mom dropped her off too, also with friends. The friends were covers. They were to go away. I was also unbeknownst to Stacie Scott's Mom. It was a rendezvous shot through with unbeknownstedness.

I swooped in for the held hand before the previews were over. That had been Stacie's limit for weeks. See. I had been bargaining for a kiss with tongue during every stolen moment. Nothing doing. It's not easy for me to tell you this next part, but I must bare my soul in the name of honest journalism. Here goes. I even tried a most regrettable line. I said "C'mon Stacie. It's the 80s." I'm still not sure what I meant exactly. I suspect that I believed the 80s were a liberated age during which 6th Graders kissed with tongue. But I was mistaken. Kissing with tongue would ultimately be delayed until the 8th Grade. I could've had Jackie Fri in 7th Grade but that whole story would be a senseless digression that adds nothing to this narrative. But I could've.

You, because you are a discerning MamaPop reader steeped in Pop Culture, will have already noted my profound self-to-art connection.

You see. I was Ren McCormack. I was a wild child from Chicago, a lawless land where there was tons of smoking and drinking and ceaseless dancing. And Stacie was Reverend Shaw Moore with her senseless bans on rock music and dancing, barring all hopes for the senior prom (kissing with tongue). But I was not a bad person! I merely wanted to kick off my Sunday shoes.

Don't we all?

And so Footloose is the drama at the root of all our tortured psyches. Hence its power. But I think it's wrong for any of us to live out our days too literally identifying with Ren McCormack or Reverend Shaw Moore. Rather, we should locate ourselves squarely in the middle in the character of Vi Moore, played so masterfully by Dianne Wiest. We're all married to a preacher man and, yes, we do love and respect him. But we also ache for our daughter, Ariel, to partake in the Dionysian pleasures of rock music and dancing. And anyway, Ren is kinda cute. He seems like a nice boy. Only when we identify with Dianne Wiest can we fully appreciate the tension at the heart of our lives, where order and chaos clash and dance in a kind of archetypal senior prom of the soul.

So of course I flipped over the kitchen table. Damn you, Stacie. And damn you Hollywood for remaking my thwarted lust.


Seriously now , how is Kevin Bacon not dead by his own hand?

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I think you need to dance it out.


Also, the scene in this movie bugs me because he loses his sweatshirt. You think he had to retrace his steps to find it? Gawd, I hope so.


That is one of the best man camel toes *manal toe?* pictures I have ever seen. Brava to you Kevin Bacon.


"manal toe" ROTFL! I didn't even notice that until you pointed it out. Can men get yeast infections? If so those jeans are a yeast infection waiting ot happen.


I couldn't even watch the whole clip, the Cheese Factor was just too much. And I was a teenager in the 80's.


I prefer to call it split brain instead of manal toe. Just my personal preference

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