Footloose; Directed by Herbert Ross; Written by Dern Pitchford; Paramount.

Break dancers–those young people who go writhing, flipping, and spinning about like modern, urban, secular dervishes–probably do not think about sex once they’ve completed their bouts. Rather, they undoubtedly wonder wheth­er there’s a chiropractor in the house. Television’s Dance Fever structurally emphasizes sex through the use of the over-endowed women who attend the host, but it’s obvious that the boys and girls who are upon the stage shaking it for all they’re worth have money and prizes on their minds–be what they may. A brisk foxtrot, I imagine, would be more libido­ stirring than anything done on American Bandstand. Footloose is based on the foolish premise that dancing leads straight to if not bed, then at least to a car’s backseat. Naturally, “uptight” adults are the ones who think this is so, so they’ve outlawed the practice. Filmic teens, who have always known better than their elders–or at least have in the post-Andy Hardy period–oppose them. Predictably, those who feel themselves  “born to boogie” conquer. What is more annoying than the moronic movie itself is the likelihood that the “grown ups” who made Footloose spent a great deal of cash on consultants, testing, marketing, etc. in order to tailor the product to be properly simplistic. The teens who see Footloose and who side with the kids against the aged powers that be undoubtedly can’t imagine that they are being treated in a more ridiculous manner by Hollywood than the restrained dancers are by those in charge. The only “footloose” action that director Ross and writer Pitchford are genuinely concerned with is their own on the way to the bank. (SM)