We’re on our last post. Today, Drew and I will be closing out with another of our reviews on 80s flicks.
Seeing as no one picked any dance movies and I wanted to end this in a grand way to wrap this blogathon up, I decided to do a quick triple feature on three dance flicks of 1980s: Flashdance, Footloose and Dirty Dancing. I’ve done full reviews for both Footloose and Dirty Dancing here before and you can seek it out if you want to read more in detail on how I feel for those movies. Its obvious that I love a whole lot. Dance movies have always had a draw to me and its quite sad that its only in the recent years that I’ve really seen Dirty Dancing and Footloose in entirety but there is no doubt that they trump any modern dance movies quite a bit.
Before I get ahead of myself, let’s check out these three features! 🙂
Director: Adrian Lyne
Cast: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala
A Pittsburgh woman with two jobs as a welder and an exotic dancer wants to get into ballet school.-IMDB
Flashdance might not be the best out of the three dance movies that I have here from the 80s, but it was the first out of the pack. If you didn’t know what leg warmers were, this movie was the right place to start. Its something of a fashion statement of a movie more than it was a great movie of its sort. I’m going to be honest that I don’t prefer the story here but Flashdance was full of 80s charm from the music and the dancing to the style. It embodied that time really well.
I’m a late mid-80s baby. To say I know a lot about this era is hard to say but some of the best dance films are done in this decade (excluding Grease). While Flashdance failed mostly because I didn’t enjoy the character herself, I did like the dance and the music and the style of it. The story of Flashdance is also one that first gives some sort of giving a purpose to inspire its audience to stay motivated for what matters.
Director: Herbert Ross
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Laughlin
A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.-IMDB
Footloose is a step up from Flashdance. It dials it back down to a small town scenario with a big town boy. Kevin Bacon is one of my favorite actors (even more after I saw him in his recent Cop Car). The young Kevin Bacon as Ren fighting on behalf of his fellow classmates for prom and the freedom to dance is really a great story. Its about fighting teenage stereotypes, being responsible, and fighting authority. Footloose is a fun and serious movie.
The thing with Footloose is that its not a whole lot about dancing. There’s scenes here and there and some of the most memorable parts of the movie is the choreography that becomes rather expressive and fun. But, Footloose gets one thing on point and that’s delivering us some cheesy scenes and dialogue. In the true heart of the 80s, how can we not point it out? 😉
DIRTY DANCING (1987)
Director: Emile Ardolino
Cast: Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach, Cynthia Rhodes, Jack Weston, Jane Brucker
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances “Baby” Houseman falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle.-IMDB
I’m not going to lie! Dirty Dancing is my favorite dance movie of all time. One reason has to be that Patrick Swayze is so handsome. He was the 80s man with a crazy filmography that framed the style so well from his hair to his daring nature. He embodies Johnny so well. This is a love story, pure and true, even if its finding and chasing what you want. Its about stereotypes yet again with different social groups and dividing the rich and the poor.
Its set in one location essentially but its able to speak very well as to the themes they want to cover. Dirty Dancing becomes a little more daring. Its takes the sexy dance choreography in Flashdance and the uptight/breaking free/stereotypes sort of story in Footloose and combines it to get to another level. Its able to use the plot to drive us to fall in love with the cast and their chemistry. Iconic dance choreography, memorable quotes, touching and inspiring story: its hard not to fall in love and have the time of your life over and over again watching Dirty Dancing.
Three movies, very similar angles with different back stories but all related to dance and dreams and fighting for whats right. While the latter two are much more iconic and great to me than Flashdance, all of them have their mark in 80s cinema. Who can forget Flashdance and the sexy opening scene? Or Baby seducing Johnny along to “Love is Strange” and imitating Mickey and Sylvia? How about Ren teaching a very awkward Willard how to dance with the Walkman down the school corridor?
The 80s brought us a lot. Between John Hughes and his teenage drama/comedy, and the cheesy action flicks, some over the top romantic comedies that we couldn’t help but love, its good to know that there’s also some feel-good inspiring pieces in the form of dance movies. I just love them! If you haven’t seen these, you should! 😉
Have you seen any (or all) of these movies? Do you like dance flicks?
Remember to keep your eyes out for Drew’s wrap-up review a little later today! 🙂