Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Musical sacrilege

Being female and of a certain generation, there are a few musical movies that, as soon as their titles are mentioned, will garner a uniform reaction from my peers. (Females, that is; the guys just roll their eyes.) I wouldn’t go as far as saying they form the soundtrack to my childhood, but they were significant at the time and therefore eternally timeless.

Footloose (1984) was incredibly memorable for me, but not because it was a particularly great movie (it wasn't) nor because it spawned a few pop hits that you’ll hear on high rotate at certain Courtenay Place establishments on a Saturday night. Footloose was the first movie I was allowed to see at the cinema without parental supervision. A friend and I went with her elder sister and her friend; this was pretty radical back in those days. I remembered very little about the movie itself except for one girl trying to get out of one car window (while it was still moving) and into another moving car. Racy!

Then there was Grease (1977). This is my ultimate favourite movie and one of just four I own on DVD. There’s nothing that this movie doesn’t have: sassy characters, great music, fast cars, and fabulous 50s style cool. I know every line and lyric by heart but didn’t particular enjoy the stage show. I shudder at the thought of this movie ever being remade; Grease 2 (1982) was bad enough. Here's the cool opening theme:

I grew up watching the TV series Fame on Saturday afternoons. Admittedly, there wasn’t much on TV back in those days, but Leroy and the gang with their leotards and legwarmers were the ultimate in cool. I still get a bit choky when I hear Starmaker by Kids from Fame. Go on - indulge yourself:

However, while nostalgia is a fine thing, tampering with something that should have simply been left alone is disastrous. Even the trailer for the 'new' Fame (2009) movie leaves me cold. What do you think?

And then I read yesterday that Dirty Dancing (1987) is to be remade. I am outraged! Doesn’t anyone remember Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)? No, of course they don’t, and those that do simply grimace at the memory. Poor Patrick Swayze will be turning in his grave; no other actor could say, "nobody puts Baby in a corner" as cheesily as he did. Sure, they might cast a female lead who can actually act (or dance) this time, but it won't be the same. Here's the original trailer. Just hearing the soundtrack brings it all back.

Personally, I blame the truly puzzlesome Glee phenomenon for all this. So what do you think about remaking classic movies – special or sacrilege?

1 comment:

Manaiakalani said...

Sacrilege!! NOBODY puts baby in a corner. Rude to even contemplate it.