Looks like Dancing With the Stars’ Julianne Hough will be starring opposite Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford in the much-discussed Footloose remake — and I’m a little shocked by how happy this makes me. I’m a huge fan of the original Kevin Bacon flick (like any normal person who came of age in the ’80s) and bristled when I talk of a redo first began. It could still go moderately to horribly wrong, of course, as things can when Hollywood tries to “modernize” a guilty-pleasure classic. (See: Love Don’t Cost a Thing for “moderately,” Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights for “horribly.”) Part of the magic of the original was discovering the ridiculously satisfying plot, catchy songs, and cheesy warehouse dance sequences for the first time. And I have concerns about the two freakishly cute leads looking more like they belong on top of a wedding cake together than tussling with local officials in a backwoods town over dancing restrictions.
Still, after some deep contemplation, I say put me down for Team Hough (not to mention Team Crawford): We may not know yet if she can act, but I doubt this will require too much of a stretch. Hough’s normal disposition seems a bit sunnier than Lori Singer’s sulky pastor’s daughter in the original, but I can see her as a wild-child, small-town girl. (Maybe it’s that country-music career.) Plus we know from DWTS that she’s almost unbearably watchable onscreen — oh, right, and she can really, really dance, which is more than we can say for, um, any of the main characters in the original. (Sorry, that wasn’t Kevin Bacon doing those crazy flips.) Depending on Crawford’s abilities — which we don’t really know yet — this new version could be more musically and visually spectacular than the original, which could make up for any other shortcomings. But I still demand a climactic town council speech quoting from the Bible. And a prom scene with powder-blue tuxes.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Is Julianne Hough the new Lori Singer? Or better?