Nostalgia Fact-Check: How Does Footloose Hold Up?

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Footloose Photo: Paramount

The Nostalgia Fact-Check is a recurring Vulture feature in which we revisit a seminal movie, TV show, or album that reflexively evinces an "Oh my God, that was the best ever!" response by a certain demographic, owing to it having been imprinted on them early. Now, years later, we will take a look at these classics in a more objective, unforgiving adult light: Are they really the best ever? How do they hold up now? We've already reconsidered a number of once-beloved entertainments. This week, with the remake of Footloose arriving in theaters on Friday, we consider the original.

So the obvious question — and for many people, it was an obvious question even before cataloguing Footloose’s flaws — is: Why on earth would anyone remake a boring movie? I struggled with this question myself; I even reconsidered my preordered tickets. But the original Footloose, though slow in execution, still boasts a fairly genius and true premise: Kids just wanna dance. If the remake will just let them dance, it could actually be an improvement. And since I believe in second chances, and also backflips, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Less Talk, More Dancing: If not for this Footloose, then let it be a lesson for the third one. (There will be one, right?)