Footloose is a teen drama that was dated even before it was released, but it has a kitschy charm nonetheless.
It marked Kevin Bacon’s first major starring role, as new-kid-in-town Ren, who finds that the place where he and his mum have moved is a bit too strait-laced for his liking – especially when he discovers the local reverend (Lithgow) has banned rock music. What’s a spiky-haired, tight-jeans-wearing boy to do? Well, he decides he’s gotta dance anyway, be it in a barn (the acrobatic dance moves clearly not by Mr Bacon, but a talented stand-in), lit by the headlamps of his car, or at a cowboy bar. And to make matters worse, he also decides to annoy the local jock and date the reverend’s snooty daughter (Singer).
It’s all completely hokey, of course, but the soundtrack of eighties soft rock and pop (‘Let’s Hear it for the Boy’, ‘Hurts So Good’, and of course, Kenny Loggins’s title track) is infectious, and the story of a boy rebelling against the grown-ups is timeless. Grown-ups will get the added satisfaction of sniggering at a bouffant-haired pre-Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker, while kids will just wanna rock.
Note that while this had a ‘PG’ certificate when it was originally released, it earned a ‘15’ on DVD – must be all that satanic rock ’n’ roll.
Is Footloose (1984) suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...