Friday FabOoolousness – “Let’s Dance!”

It’s time again for Catie Rhodes and I to break down another cinematic original and its remake – this month, we discuss Footloose.

First, let’s review Catie’s summary of the 1984 film:

Footloose is the story of a big-city kid who moves to a podunk town where dancing is illegal.  The big-city kid fights to hold a school dance, a prom, and encounters resistance from both town leaders and other kids who don’t like slick, fast talking outsiders.  Footloose has it all–romance, fighting, laughs…and dancing.

And in keeping with Catie’s style, here’s a taste of the most recent, Footloose (2011):

I’ll be the first to admit that when I saw the trailer, I felt the remaking of Footloose was sacrilege.  The 1984 film is and forever will be a classic – why mess with greatness?

But it’s because of this negativity that I asked to review the 2011 remake by MTV Films.  And I won’t lie – I prepared myself for a horrible film.

The opening scene gave me goosebumps, blasting the original Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” as today’s teens danced and partied.  It almost seemed like there wasn’t a generational gap between kids today and kids twenty years ago – everyone appreciates good music.  Heck, I wanted to get up and dance with them.  Already, my opinion of the movie slowly began to turn around…

Immediately following the opening scene, five teens are killed in a horrendous car accident.  The driver, a senior football star, was also the son of the town’s reverend (Rev. Shaw Moore, played by Dennis Quaid).  This accident forces the members of the Bomont, Georgia city council to impose strict laws, forbidding teens from drinking and participating in public dancing.

The “new” Ren

Fast forward three years and viewers are introduced to the new kid in town, Ren McCormack (played by Kenny Wormald), a boy who also recently suffered a great loss of his own with the death of his mother.

The “new” Ariel

Ren immediately finds himself not mixing well with the locals and can’t quite understand why a local police officer pulls him over for disturbing the peace (he was playing his music too loud).  He attempts to befriend the reverend’s daughter (Ariel, played by Dancing with the Stars’ Julianne Hough), but she’s too busy rebelling and dating an older, rough-around-the-edges man to give Ren the time of day.

The “new” Willard

After Ren makes friends with a fellow high school boy (Willard, played by Miles Teller), he learns that the town also enforces a “no dance” ordinance.  Needless to say, Ren is miserable in Bomont.

Does this sound familiar?  It should – the 2011 film mirrors the 1984 classic throughout.  Usually I’d list the differences between the original and remake, but today we’re going to appreciate the similarities:

Ren’s car – a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, also known as a Slug-Bug around Texas
Ren’s hobby and pastime – Gymnastics
Ariel’s boots – red
Ren’s first day of school attire – a neck tie
Ren’s “blowing off some steam” dance scene – a lot of the moves were the same (but the music was way off)
Willard learns how to dance – wearing a straw cowboy hat to the music “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” by Deniece Williams
The high school students’ secret hangout – The Yearbook
Ariel’s t-shirt at the council meeting – “Dance your @$$ off”
Ren’s prom attire – dark red, almost maroon, tuxedo jacket with a black bow-tie

Can everyone see where I’m going with this?  I applaud the attention to detail in keeping the original alive.  Of course there were also a few differences, but the bottom line is what matters – the story remains the same.

Footloose is a story about a boy, a stranger from another part of the country, who moves in and changes the town people’s lives and opens their eyes to believing in their children again.

Footloose is the story of a town coming together to celebrate life, not just mourning the dead.

Footloose is the story of children finding their voice – peacefully and respectfully.

Catie mentioned the music in the original Footloose, something none of us can argue with – the soundtrack is simply amazing, featuring artists such as Kenny Loggins, Sammy Hagar, Mike Reno (of Loverboy), Ann Wilson (of Heart), Bonnie Tyler, Foreigner, John Mellencamp, and Quiet Riot.

How does the remake compare?  The 2011 soundtrack may not be considered a classic twenty years from now, but the movie does feature many of the original’s hits – including Kenny Loggins’ and Blake Shelton’s rendition of “Footloose”, a Quiet Riot heavy metal song, plus remakes of “Hero” and “Almost Paradise”.

Catie also enlightened the rest of us with a fun fact – Kevin Bacon was not the first choice to play the role of Ren in the 1984 hit — Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe were considered first.  Can any of us imagine anyone besides Kevin Bacon playing Ren?

The “original” Ren

Similarly, Kenny Wormald wasn’t the first choice for the remake either.  Apparently Zac Efron, Chace Crawford, and Thomas Dekker all passed on the role first for one reason or another.  I was a little disappointed, especially that Chase Crawford didn’t work out, but I must say I am not at all sad after watching Kenny Wormald’s performance.  I don’t know who he is, but he’s absolutely adorable and nailed the character of Ren.

Speaking of relatively unknowns, the same can be said for Miles Teller.  Catie honored the fabOoolous performance of Chris Penn as Ren’s best friend, Willard, in the 1984 film.  But what about the 2011 portrayal of Willard?  Miles Teller may actually be the best casting of the entire film.  Sometimes I actually saw and heard Chris Penn in his performance.

Now Catie closed her post on an entirely different note, introducing the true story on which Footloose is based.  Be sure to remember and click over to her blog to read all about it.

For me, I’m just going to close with Ren’s words: “There is a time to dance.”

“Let’s Dance!”

What do you think?  Have you seen either the original or the remake of Footloose?  If you’ve seen both, which do you prefer and why?  If you haven’t, do you want to?  I’d love to hear from you! 

Remember to stop by Catie’s blog discussing the original if you haven’t already.

Friday FabOoolousness – The Titter Factor: Caddyshack

Who doesn’t love to laugh? We all know the old proverb: Laughter is the best medicine, right?

I recall hearing a statistic once that babies and children laugh, on average, hundreds of times a day; whereas, adults only laugh enough times to count on their fingers and toes (assuming they have close to all twenty).  Isn’t that sad?

You can fake an orgasm, but you can’t fake laughter. ~Bob Dylan

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

When people are laughing, they’re generally not killing each other. ~Alan Alda

One of my favorite board games, Whatzit, has a “Wicked Whatzit” card perfect for The Titter Factor:

Ha, Ha…Ho, Ho…He, He, Hee? What the heck does that mean?

Have you figured it out? This game will drive you mad!  Hang tight; the answer is at the end of the post.

We personally love to laugh in our household, and lately we have the tendency to watch funny movies over any other kind (well, besides horror).

What’s the first movie that made you laugh your butt off?  Forget about the cartoons, etc; what’s the first comedy you remember falling in love with?

For me, it’s Caddyshack.  Granted, as a child, I thought the movie was funny because of the laughing and dancing gopher, and the floating “doodie” in the pool (right, right, it was a Baby Ruth candy bar).

But now as an adult (and I only admit that on rare occasions) I have a deeper appreciation for the humor behind the fabOoolous performances of the great comedic actors (Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, and Michael O’Keefe just to name a few) and the fabOoolous writing of Harold Ramis, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Douglas Kenney.

Last year, the Biography channel aired Caddyshack: The Inside Story and filled the two-hour episode with tons of fun facts about the production behind one of the best comedies of all time.

  • Caddyshack is loosely based on the Murray brothers’ (Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, and John Murray) childhood working as caddies at an Illinois country club.  Besides living the story, somewhat anyway, all three Murray brothers also played a role in the movie: Bill Murray as the forever fabOoolous greens-keeper Carl Spackler, Brian Doyle-Murray as the head caddy Lou Loomis, and John Murray as a caddy extra.
  • Caddyshack was filmed at the only golf course in Florida that would have them, which also happened to be the only golf course without palm trees (since the movie was supposed to be set in the Mid-West).  The actors and crew lived at an on-site dormitory, paving the way for all night parties, every night.
  • Caddyshack was only Rodney Dangerfield’s second motion picture role.  Isn’t that hard to believe?
  • Bill Murray did not have a speaking role in the original script, but his sensational improvisational skills grabbed the camera’s attention and they filmed endless footage.
  • The original script didn’t have one single scene with the two biggest stars – Chevy Chase (Ty Webb) and Bill Murray.  Up until this point, the studio executives let the young director, Harold Ramis, run free with the taping of his movie, but the Hollywood types finally intervened and insisted that the two Saturday Night Live stars have at least one scene together.  Nervous because of an alleged fist fight back-stage at SNL, Ramis stuck the two comedians in front of the camera for the now famous scene when Ty’s golf ball crashes through Carl’s shack.
  • The explosion at the end of the movie was not approved by the golf course administration.  What a surprise! Thinking on their feet, Ramis and the producers thanked the golf course staff with an off-site luncheon to celebrate the final day of filming; while the owners and trustees were away, the film crew blew up the course anyway.
  • The gopher was not a part of the movie until after the filming was complete.  John Dykstra, famous for his special effects in Star Wars, incorporated the gopher at the last-minute.  The gopher sound effects were the same as Flipper’s sound effects.  Yea, the dolphin.  Who knew that a gopher and dolphin shared the same voice?

C’mon, are you singing “I’m Alright” by Kenny Loggins this very second?  You’re wiggling around in your chair doing the Gopher-Dance too, aren’t you? I thought so!  Me too….

What’s your favorite Caddyshack moment?  Which actor do you feel stole the show? Did you ever pull the “doodie” trick on anyone in a swimming pool near you?  Which of the movie-fun-facts listed above surprises you the most? What other comedies would you like to see on The Titter Factor?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now for the answer to the “Wicked Whatzit” card…make sense now?

LMAO…it gets me every time!
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