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Footloose Movie Review Starring Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough

Footloose: Dances Its Way to a New Audience

Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the original 1984 Footloose. What I have seen is the remake, which will be seen by lots of people who, like me, perhaps aren’t familiar with the iconic dance film starring Kevin Bacon as a high schooler who tries to shake up the town he’s moved to because dancing in public is forbidden. (Like many people, though, I am familiar with the song.)

Here’s what we know: Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves from Boston to small-town, uptight Bomont to live with his uncle after his mother passes away. While he’s a good-hearted kid, he doesn’t understand the strict rules of the town, especially the law that prohibits public dancing by minors, with its loud music and general fun vibe that often leads kids to do things they’ll probably regret. (He soon learns why such a law has been imposed.) Leading the no dancing charge is Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) — he happens to have a dance-loving daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), who resorts to hanging with older, more dangerous peers as a way of rebelling against her father.

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So even if you haven’t seen the original, it’s a story you’re probably familiar with because it’s the tried and true tale that often carries dance films. The performances from the actors are sincere; Wormald has a likeable nature as Ren, the city kid who just wants to dance, while Hough (who gives off a young Jennifer Aniston vibe — check out the poster!) easily makes the transition from Dancing With the Stars professional to rebellious preacher’s daughter. The supporting cast includes veterans like Quaid and Andie MacDowell as Ariel’s parents, and a cute little subplot involves Ren’s friend Willard (Miles Teller) learning how to dance.

Speaking of dancing, the actors’ dance experience means the numbers are energetic, sometimes sexy, and at one point emotional; Wormald performs an angst-filled routine in a warehouse when it feels like the whole town is against him. The soundtrack, with its country tracks and catchy, memorable tunes associated with the original, adds to the film’s fun spirit.

So, as someone who didn’t have the original Footloose to compare the remake to, I found the film to be quite entertaining, with a sweet sort of charm (and a sprinkling of cheese factor) that had me appreciating the decision to bring Footloose back to the spotlight. It’s not trying to be anything groundbreaking, but it’s an enjoyable film that may even have you trying to “cut loose” in your seat.

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Photos courtesy of Paramount</a>

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