Footloose (2011 film)

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Footloose
Footloose2011Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Craig Brewer
Produced by Craig Zadan
Neil Meron
Dylan Sellers
Brad Weston
Screenplay by Ronny Brewer
Dean Pitchford
Story by Dean Pitchford
Based on Characters by
Dean Pitchford
Starring Kenny Wormald
Julianne Hough
Andie MacDowell
Dennis Quaid
Music by Deborah Lurie
Blake Shelton
Cinematography Amy Vincent
Edited by Billy Fox
Production
  company
Spyglass Entertainment
MTV Films
Dylan Sellers
Zadan/Meron
Weston Pictures
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s)
  • October 6, 2011 (2011-10-06) (Australia)
  • October 14, 2011 (2011-10-14) (United States)
Running time 113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million[2]
Box office $62,701,289[2]

Footloose is a 2011 American dance film directed by Craig Brewer. It is a remake of the 1984 film of the same name and stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell, and Dennis Quaid. The film follows a young man who moves from Boston to a small southern town and protests the town's ban against dancing.

Filming took place from September to November 2010 in Georgia. It was released in Australia and New Zealand on October 6, 2011, and in North America on October 14, 2011. It grossed $15.5 million in its opening weekend and $62 million worldwide. It was met with generally positive reaction from critics.

Plot[edit]

After a long night of partying, Bobby Moore and four of his friends drive over a bridge and, not paying attention, crash into a truck, killing them instantly. His father, Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid), the reverend of the church of the small Southern United States town of Bomont, Georgia, persuades the city council to pass numerous paternalistic laws, including a ban on all unsupervised dancing and music within the city limits as well as a by-law curfew. The city council agrees, prohibiting the music and the dancing.

Three years later, Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald), a teenager raised in Boston, moves to Bomont to live with his uncle, aunt, and cousins after his mother's painful death from leukemia. Soon after arriving, Ren makes friends with Willard Hewitt (Miles Teller), a fellow senior at Bomont High School, and learns from him about the ban on dancing and music. He soon begins to become attracted to Moore's rebellious daughter Ariel (Julianne Hough), who is dating dirt-track driver Chuck Cranston (Patrick Flueger), whose father owns the local race-track. After an insult from Chuck, Ren ends up in a game involving buses, and despite his inability to drive a bus, he wins. Reverend Moore distrusts Ren, preventing Ariel from ever seeing him again, even blaming Ariel's rebellious attitude on him. Ren and his classmates want to do away with the law and have a senior prom.

After a while, Ariel begins to fall in love with Ren and breaks up with Chuck, telling him she's sick of him treating her like dirt. In result, he insults her by calling her a slut and knocks her down when she tries to hit him. He tries to drive away, but she starts to demolish his truck with a pipe, resulting in Chuck assaulting her, bruising her face. After hearing of Ariel's beaten condition, Moore meets up with Ariel and his wife, Vi (Andie MacDowell), at the church and immediately thinks Ren had assaulted his daughter. When he declares he wants Ren arrested, Ariel tells him that he can't blame everything on Ren just like he did with Bobby, who died in the car crash. She goes on to say how Bobby spent his entire life trying to make him proud, such as getting good grades and always going to church, but he was never good enough for him. Now no one remembers the good things about Bobby, only the accident and ban on music and dancing his death caused. After she bitterly reveals to not being a virgin, Moore slaps her across the face, prompting Ariel to flee from the church. Moore tries to apologize, but her mother goes after her telling him that he's "done enough". Vi is supportive of the movement to allow dancing and explains to Moore he cannot be everyone's father, and that he is hardly being a good father to Ariel. She also says that dancing and music are not the problem.

Ren goes before the city council and reads several Bible verses, given to him by Ariel, that describe how in ancient times people would dance to rejoice, exercise, celebrate, and/or worship, hoping to lift the dancing ban. Meanwhile, Ren also teaches Willard how to dance. The city council votes against him. Seemingly beaten, Ren returns to daily life. One day while working he is approached by his boss Andy who hatches a plan to have the dance in the city of Basin instead. When Ren responds that he wants the dance in Bomont, Andy informs him that his cotton mill is just outside Bomont's city limits. Once the plans are set, Ren goes to see Moore knowing that Moore still has enough influence to pressure the parents not to let their teenagers come. Ren tells Moore that even though they denied the motion to dismiss the law, they cannot stop the teenagers from having the first senior prom, which has always been denied. He then asks him respectfully if he can take Ariel. Moore, after some thought, lets Ariel go and makes amends with his wife and daughter, better understanding things.

On Sunday, Shaw asks his congregation to pray for the high school students putting on the prom. Not long after Ren and Ariel arrive at the prom, Chuck and several of his friends ride up, intent on beating up Ren and Willard for an earlier fight in the movie. However, Ren and Willard fend them off along with Rusty and Ariel's help. Ren then flings some confetti into a shredding machine and yells, "Let's dance!" The movie ends with everyone dancing in the barn to the song from the opening credits, "Footloose".

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In October 2008, Kenny Ortega was announced as director but left the project a year later after differences with Paramount and the production budget.[3][4] Peter Sollett was also hired to write the script. Dylan Sellers, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan served as producer; Zadan having produced the original Footloose.[5] In 2010, Craig Brewer came on to re-write the script after Crawford and Ortega left the project and also served as director.[6] The writer of the original film, Dean Pitchford, also co-wrote the screenplay.[7] Amy Vincent served as cinematographer.[8]

Casting[edit]

In July 2007, Zac Efron was cast as Ren McCormack,[9] but he left the project in March 2009.[10] Two months later, it was reported that Chace Crawford would replace Efron, but he later had to back out due to scheduling conflicts.[11][12] Thomas Dekker was a "top candidate" for the role but on June 22, 2010,[13] Entertainment Weekly reported that Kenny Wormald had secured the lead role as McCormack.[6]

Former Dancing with the Stars ballroom-dance professional Julianne Hough was cast as Ariel, Dennis Quaid as Reverend Shaw Moore, and Miles Teller as Willard Hewitt.[6] On August 24, 2010, Andie MacDowell joined the cast as Quaid's wife.[14] During an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Kevin Bacon said he declined a cameo appearance in the film as he did not like the role.[15] The role was playing Ren McCormack's deadbeat dad. Though Bacon passed on the role, he gave Brewer his blessing.[16]

Filming[edit]

Unlike the original, set in the fictional town of "Bomont, Utah", the remake is set in fictional "Bomont, Georgia".[17] On a budget of $24 million,[18] principal photography began in September 2010 in and around metro Atlanta, and wrapped two months later in November.[19] A courtroom scene was shot at the Newton County Historic Courthouse in Covington, Georgia on September 17, 20 and 21.[20] A family scene was filmed at the New Senoia Raceway in Senoia on October 1.[21]

A scene taken from the original film, in which McCormack plays a game of "chicken" with his love interest's boyfriend, was filmed on the Chattahoochee River bridge on Franklin Parkway in downtown Franklin also in October.[22] The home and church seen in the film were filmed in downtown Acworth. Production used the sanctuary of the Acworth Presbyterian Church and the house of the Mayor, Tommy Allegood.[23]

Music[edit]

The original soundtrack was released by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Nashville on September 27, 2011. It includes eight new songs and four remakes of songs from the original film's soundtrack.[24] Brewer said, "I can promise Footloose fans that I will be true to the spirit of the original film. But I still gotta put my own Southern grit into it and kick it into 2011."[6] Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" was covered by Blake Shelton for the remake, which is an upbeat country version.[25] The film opens with several teens dancing to Loggins' original version of the song. Like the original film, the 2011 version also features "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" by the heavy metal band Quiet Riot and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[27] 56
Canadian Albums Chart[28] 21
US Billboard 200[28] 14
US Billboard Top Country Albums[28] 4
US Billboard Top Soundtracks[28] 1

Release and promotion[edit]

The film was originally scheduled for release in North America on April 1, 2011, but was moved to October 14, 2011.[6][29] Footloose was released in Australia and New Zealand on October 6, 2011.[30]

Paramount and HSN partnered for a 24-hour promotion on October 12, 2011. They sold clothing inspired by the film, such as women's red boots, denim, footwear and nail polish brands created by Vince Camuto and Steve Madden.[31] To promote the film, Paramount sent the cast and director on a promotional tour in over a dozen cities.[32]

Footloose was promoted on the October 11, 2011, episode of Dancing with the Stars. The episode featured film stars Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough—a former champion on the show—dancing to the songs "Holding Out for a Hero" and "Footloose" from the film's soundtrack with Blake Shelton performing the song live.[33] At the CMA Awards, Shelton was joined by original "Footloose" performer Kenny Loggins to sing the song.[34] Many of Viacom owned channels, like MTV, Nickelodeon and CMT advertised and promoted the film.[35]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Pre-release audience pollings predicted the film to take in $20 million its opening weekend. However, Paramount expected it to be closer to $15 million.[32] Footloose opened in 3,549 theaters taking in $15.5 million and placing number two, behind Real Steel ($16.2 million) in its opening weekend.[36] Exit polls indicated that the film appealed to 75 percent of females and 28 percent of the teen market. About 60 percent of the audience were over age 25 and 46 percent over age 35.[35] The 20th highest grossing locations on Friday were in Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Knoxville, Kansas City, and San Antonio.[35] The opening was lower than other recent dance films like, Save the Last Dance (2001, $23.4 million), Step Up (2006, $20.7 million), but it performed around the same as Step Up 3D (2010, $15.8 million) and You Got Served (2004, $16.1 million).[18] The 1984 Footloose opened to $20 million when adjusted for ticket price inflation.[37] In its second weekend the film held well,[38] with a drop of 34 percent. It placed third and grossed an estimated $10.4 million.[39]

In Australia, the film opened to $1.05 million[40] and to $88,078 in New Zealand.[41] Footloose has grossed $51.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $10.9 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $62 million.[2] The 1984 Footloose grossed over $80 million worldwide.[18]

Release date
(United States)
Budget[2] Box office revenue[2]
United States/Canada Other markets Worldwide
October 14, 2011 $24,000,000 $51,162,383 $10,898,547 $62,060,930

Critical reviews[edit]

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 71% of 160 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.1 out of 10.[42] The website's consensus is "While it hews closely to the 1984 original, Craig Brewer infuses his Footloose remake with toe-tapping energy and manages to keep the story fresh for a new generation." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 58 based on 35 reviews.[43] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was an "A" on an A plus to F scale.[18]

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A minus. She praised the performance of Wormald commenting that he "handily owns the role for a new audience" and closed her review saying, "Guardians of the '80s flame will approve of the production's sincere respect for the original; church still matters, and so do Ariel's red cowboy boots."[44] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave a negative review of the film rating it with only one and half stars out of four. He criticized the film for being so close to the 1984 original "sometimes song for song and word-for-word". He thought poorly of Wormald's performance, saying, "He's got the Kevin Bacon role but not the Kevin Bacon charisma." Ebert closed his review expressing, "This new Footloose is a film without wit, humor or purpose. It sets up the town elders as old farts who hate rock 'n' roll. Does it have a clue that the Rev. Moore and all the other city council members are young enough that they grew up on rock 'n' roll? The film's message is: A bad movie, if faithfully remade, will produce another bad movie."[45]

Variety's Rob Nelson also notes that the film failed to distinguished itself from the original and denounces Wormald and Hough's acting performances saying, "When the music stops, young Hough is saddled, like her co-star, with the impossible task of making 27-year-old verbiage sound fresh." Nelson noted that Brewer's musical staging is "subtly less theatrical than Ross', but it hardly constitutes a reinvention" and that Brewer's film comes across as "slightly milder" than Ross', such as with Ariel's abuse by former boyfriend being toned down for 2011.[46] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter disapproved of how the dance numbers and action sequences were staged, shot and cut, saying, "The visual clumsiness does not disguise that Wormald (a professional dancer since extreme youth), especially, but the others too, are very good dancers. But the compositions vary randomly between close-ups, awkward medium shots and general coverage that cuts together with no cumulative dynamic power."[47] Orlando Sentinel''s Roger Moore gave the film two and half out of four stars.[17]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review saying, "The new version of 1984's Footloose has updated moves and a sexier look but retains the story line. It doesn't have the emotional impact of the original, but it ups the energy level." He expressed that the film was "not so much a remake as a renovation" and notes that the remake is similar to the original but said it was "in all the ways that count".[48] The New York Times's A. O. Scott wrote a mixed review and called the dance numbers "woefully inadequate" when compared with Glee, High School Musical and Step Up. For Wormald's performance he said, "He has energy but no real magnetism, and while he may be in possession of what are technically known as "moves", his dancing lacks sensuality and a sense of release." Scott gave Miles Teller a good review saying that he "has a natural charisma that is both comic and kind of sexy". He described the music in the remake as "better and more eclectic than the original, with some blues, country and vintage metal mixed in with the peppy dance tunes".[49]

Home media[edit]

Paramount Home Entertainment released Footloose on DVD and Blu-ray on March 6, 2012.

References[edit]

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External links[edit]