Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 March 2005

"When you go away to college you can dress like David Bowie"

I watched Footloose this morning and it was so. Good. I loved it. Being a kid that went to a church like John Lithgow's and wasn't allowed to dance or go to the movies during this time period (the 1980s: my formative years), watching Footloose was a revelation of sorts.

The movie doesn't really have much in the way of plot: the good guys and the bad guys are really all the same under the skin. The forces of chastity mount in a small town that's called Bomont (obviously the namers of the town had white-trash spelling issues). Dancing is outlawed in the town until Windy City boy Ren McCormick comes to the small town with his mother and says what everyone is thinking: that we want to dance, goddammit, we're kids, and we're not gonna let anyone stop us. The movie has some brilliant sequences, but to talk about them I really must discuss the most important thing in Footloose and that is THE MUSIC.

It's nothing short of awesome. Aside from having SIX top-40 songs on the soundtrack (all originals), the way the sequences are cut, that is, the way the songs are used is nothing short of fantastic. The opening credits are set to Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" and are quite original in their own right. "Almost Paradise" is the love theme... I never even knew it came from that movie originally. The scoring is great too. Ren and Ariel's first kiss starts out like this: the sweet tinkle of the love theme on a music box; then Ren and Ariel move in to kiss and the orchestra swells with the same theme, and then just as their lips meet Rock & Roll takes over again and an electric guitar lets out a long victorious wail. The guitar fades out after a few second and we're left with the strings again as they part. It's the kiss that's electric and the music knows. It's killer.

My favorite sequence has got to be "Let's Hear It for the Boy," where Chris Penn's Willard character learns to dance. The music is so infectious. I was already loving the film, but when Chris Penn started getting some rhythm I couldn't help but tap my feet. Finally I just said "fuck it" and got up in my apartment and danced to the rest of the song. I couldn't help myself.