Slingerlands Man Willing to Give ‘Footloose’ a Second Chance
By Quack Davis
Published June 11th, 2017
BETHLEHEM — The first time Randy Beards watched the movie Footloose, he hated the 1984 blockbuster.
"I thought it was awful," the 53-year-old Slingerlands man said. "The premise was dumb. The plot was dumb. The characters were dumb. I was dumb for watching it."
But 33 years later, Beards is willing to give the movie a second chance he said during an exclusive interview with The Smudge at his home where he was joined by his wife, Maxine Chambers-Beards — who urged her husband to give the movie, one of her all-time favorite Kevin Bacon films, a second chance.
"I'm a lot older now," Beards said stoically. "I guess Footloose is older, too."
Footloose is set in the rural town of Bomont where dancing is illegal. Bacon’s character, Chicago city slicker Ren McCormack, is a streetwise teenager who courts Ariel Moore, played by 80’s siren Lori Singer.
Singer’s character in the film is the daughter of a local Bible-thumping preacher, the Rev. Shaw Moore (Jon Lithgow), the spiritual and moral leader of the conservative town. Throughout the movie, Ren tries to convince the reverend — and Bomont residents — that dancing isn’t a sin.
The plot also includes young love, a chicken race with tractors, fighting among teenagers and dancing in an abandoned warehouse.
"I thought at the time, 'This is one of the dumbest fucking coming-of-age movies I’ve ever seen,'" Beards recalled. “I gave it an ‘F.’"
But his future wife loved it, and urged him to give the film a second chance.
"For me this is like a trip down Memory Lane," she blushed. "And Ren is so cute, with his flipped-up collar and skinny tie. I think that’s part of Randy’s problem. He’s jealous of Kevin Bacon."
But Beards insisted he has no problem with the hunky Footloose star.
"Oh heck no, I have always been a fan of Mr. Bacon," Beards said. "It wasn't his fault he was given a turd to polish. But we’ll see. I'm willing to give it another go, and until then, I’ll reserve judgment on whether it's still a turd."