STAY CLASSY: Footloose


Author’s note: I’m going to try not to be personally offended by the fact that an important film from my youth is being reviewed as a “classic,” and instead look at it as a celebration. Footloose is 30!

Year released: 1984

How it fared back then: While it was pretty panned critically, it was a commercial success grossing $80,035,403. The soundtrack had two Billboard number ones: “Footloose” and “Let’s hear it for the Boy.” “Footloose” (the song) was also nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe that year. The film was really six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon’s breakout role, and he captured the cocky eighties punk trope perfectly.

Classic moments:

  • Kevin Bacon’s skinny tie should have its own credit, as it would go on to dominate class pics in middle schools everywhere that year.
  • The scene where Chris Penn’s (Sean’s bro) character is taught to dance. He really couldn’t dance!
  • Inspired dialogue like: “I thought only pansies wore neckties.” “See that? I thought only assholes used the word ‘pansy.’”
  • John Lithgow as the Reverend who’s banned dancing in the town and Dianne Weist as his wife.
  • Sarah Jessica Parker has a scene-stealing part as the best friend  in the movie and ended up being nominated for a Best Young Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture Musical, Comedy, Adventure or Drama at the Sixth Annual Youth in Film Awards
  • The last scene of the film–prom!–is truly, though it pains me to say it, a classic.

Does it hold up: Look, as far as eighties teen coming-of-age films go, this ain’t no Breakfast Club, but it has inspired a loyal following, a recent remake, a Broadway musical and countless sing-alongs. It’s frothy and fun, and though I may be biased, better than the 2010 remake if only for its kitsch factor. There are worse ways to spend a Friday night than singing along to “Hurts so Good” and “Almost Paradise,” amiright?


IreneIrene Karras is a Calgary-based communications consultant and freelance writer with a fondness for 1950s Greek melodramas, 1980s coming of age movies, weird Canadian films, and, by necessity, PG movies. She blogs at and tweets @irene_karras.

Read more of Irene’s posts.


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