I really have a lot of respect for choreographer/director Kenny Ortega, but when I read the various reports yesterday, all I could think is WRONG AND WRONGER! It’s sad that the growing, well, now normal trend of remakes in Hollywood has finally hit one of the true classics. I suspect since Ortega choreographed the original film, he thought, “why not?” Well, I’m going to tell you why NOT.
First of all, iconic films should NEVER be remade, especially ones that are well-loved and reminisced about. But with the release of the remake of Footloose hitting theaters in just over two months, I suppose anything is possible. I mean, have you seen the trailer?!?
I swear aside from the newer music in the film, this travesty is basically a shot-for-shot remake of the original, which is lame, but if the producers want to reel in your parents or grandparents, they have to give them some familiarity. It’s not a good excuse, but that’s what you’ll probably hear. And if Footloose can be remade, why not Grease or Hairspray? (oops on the latter, which it was actually good, but only because it was based on the Broadway musical based on the original film). Oh yeah, that too. Dirty Dancing has become a musical, however, it may have been big overseas, but I doubt it will ever see the light of day on Broadway. I wonder why?
I confess I did watch the prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, remember it?
Yeah, not a great idea, and I’m sure the filmmakers lost it when the managed to get Patrick Swayze aka Johnny Castle to cameo as Johnny, but it was hopelessly pointless. And lest we forget the attempted 1988 TV series, not one of CBS’s brighter moments.
Wait, was that Jan from The Office? And Paul Feig, who has directed episodes of The Office and he directed this summer’s huge comedy hit Bridesmaids?? Yep! Ah, salad days. The mere fact that movie musicals are maybe the biggest gamble out there, a musical remake is a billion times more risky. And I’m sure since Ortega has all the High School Musical films under his belt, he thinks he might be able to replicate it with Dirty Dancing. I say no, but there’s been some interesting input on the project from Frances “Baby” Houseman herself, Jennifer Grey (and her remade nose) support a new Dirty Dancing. Damn you Twitter!
The verdict on this remains to be seen, but I wish Kenny Ortega all the luck in the world.