It’s evident from the above trailer of MTV’s remake of the 80s classic Footloose – which many of us know and love, but of which some of us have never heard (maybe – I’ve never been able to judge the popularity/ influence of the original Footloose) – that what they (i.e. MTV) are trying to capitalize on here is the Glee Effect, i.e. the recent revival of onscreen large-scale choreographed song and dance numbers, largely embraced within the tween/ adolescent/ high school demographic. It’s also evident that a) MTV seems to be trying to actually remake the film by including – down to the outfits – some of the very same scenes the original so bedazzled audiences with, b) the dude that’s ‘playing’ John Lithgow – who I think is brilliant – does not resemble in the least John Lithgow, via looks, vocal meter and talent, and c) I, um, actually want to see this movie.
I’m not going to see the movie, though, except maybe I will later, when I’m, say, 40, and for some anomalous reason have subscribed to a cable television service and spend much of my depressed existence sideways on a couch, staring heavily into Lifetime programming, which is bound to eventually feature this, the MTV remake of the 80s seminal Kevin Bacon/ John Lithgow classic Footloose. Regardless of my desire/ anti-desire to see this movie I must say that there’s a part of me that actually feels offended by this remake’s existence; at this point I can actually detect that I’m actively feeling fucking pissed that MTV – who, to their credit, as a company, is a couple years older than me, I think – is, arguably, exploiting one of my favorite childhood films by making it into fodder for idiot high schoolers.
I did indeed say “exploiting.” This is because I sense from the trailer that the film in essence is not an artistic endeavor; rather, it seems to me like just a really smart and formulaic way to make a shit ton of money and milk their core demographic’s tits while simultaneously providing them with a blow job they’ll remember the rest of their lives. And just as it’s exhausting/ excruciating to watch a person you think is a Bad Person to the highest order manipulate those around you and actually succeed without their personality even coming under question or scrutiny, so it is difficult for me, in this case, to see MTV’s teenybopper machine reprocess Footloose and sell it anew to kids half my age that will then feel entitled to fucking actual ownership of the film, like they even know anything about it (god!).
Kids These Days don’t know anything about Footloose. Kids These Days don’t know anything about the 80s. Kids These Days don’t even remember when everyone was nostalgic about the 80s – they think nostalgia was born with 90s nostalgia. Kids These Days don’t know anything about Kevin Bacon’s dance moves, and the incredibly adorable camp appeal of the combination of the original film’s acting, music, wardrobe, set design and… John Lithgow.
But of course who am I to speak of Footloose, cinema, and art, even. I am no one, and I admit that my opinion is ill-informed and of absolutely no consequence. I also admit that there’s a medium to high chance that the original seminal 80s dance/ city-kid-meets-backwards-yet-endearing-small-town cinema classic Footloose was made for the very same reason MTV’s remaking it today (yet another admittance: the entire premise of my argument about MTV’s motivations is possibly wrong and indeed completely unverifiable as only the trailer is currently available); perhaps the original Footloose was just a clever ploy.
The remake of the incalculably freaking monumental seminal 80s kitsch-high-school-sensitive-hipster-nerd-vs.-brutish-jock-within-a-framework-of-stern-parental-oppression combination dance/ love story Footloose will be released on October 14, 2011, and I can tell you that I won’t be there. No – I won’t. I won’t be there to see the rap music, I won’t be there to see Dennis Quaid, and I won’t be there to see the ha-ha-look-at-this-fantasy-cute-ass-small-town-which-definitely-does-not-exist-in-real-America-anymore. I won’t be seeing any of that, and I couldn’t tell you whether that’s a good or bad thing. I can definitely explain why I won’t be there, though: I’m Getting Old/ Those Damn Kids. The irony of this in relation to the premise of the film in question does not escape me.