(Remake of 1984 film)
This remake of the popular 1984 film that launched Kevin Bacon's career pretty much follows the original.
It is sort of a "Rebel with a Cause,” mixing a corny story with some good messages and lively music. Remembering the Broadway musical, I could have used more dancing, especially knowing that the two stars are dancers.
The movie opens with a tragic car crash, killing five teenagers, including the minister's son, from Bomont, Ga., while on their way home from a dance. The Town Council, which includes the high school principal and the local minister (Dennis Quad) passes an ordinance that sets a curfew for the kids and bans public dancing.
Fast-forward three years and the arrival of Ren (Kenny Wormaid), who comes from Massachusetts to live with his aunt and uncle after his single mom dies. Ren faces immediate culture shock and culture clash as he tries to adjust to the southern way of life and, even worse, the Bomont way. He falls in love with the minister's daughter, whose boyfriend is the meanest guy in town. Ariel (Julianne Hough) is a bit of a rebel herself, defying her father at every turn, running with a fast crowd and flirting with the new kid in town. Miles Taylor plays Ren's new friend, Willard, providing the comic relief much needed in this morality play.
Ren takes on the impossible task of convincing the town fathers to rescind their ordinance, take on Ariel's boyfriend and make an "honest" woman out of her.
The story is a bit of a stretch, but does leave some good feelings and messages for teens. You'll have to wait until the end for some really hot dancing, with some lively line dancing thrown in the middle.
My major problem with the movie is that Wormaid and Hough look more like college grads than high schoolers.
There's a fun scene with Ren's very young cousins singing the popular at the time "Let's Hear It For the Boys.”
Rated PG-13, with some minor profanity, violence and sexual references.