Footloose | Chicago Reader

Footloose

Herbert Ross directed this odd but reasonably effective blend of rock music and didactic melodrama (1984), set in a small town where the fundamentalist population has banned public dancing and an exiled Chicago teenager (Kevin Bacon) is fighting to bring it back. The dramatic sequences are shrill and tritely written, though an excellent cast helps out (John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Lori Singer, Christopher Penn, and some uncommonly solid casting in the minor roles); the musical sequences are good enough that they make you wish Ross had been willing to leave the surface realism behind and break out into the high stylization and exuberance of the genre's classic days. Despite the hesitations, it's miles above Flashdance in technique and intelligence.

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