This was the decision I was faced with on a visit to my sister a few weekends ago. The remake of “Footloose” had just come out and my sister had already signed up a contingent of her brood and their friends to go see it. I was in, I assured her, pretending to be as pumped up as she and her contingent. In reality I was cringing. I was in college when my gal pals and I saw the original Footloose with Kevin Bacon. Afterwards, we drove down College Ave. in someone’s BMW, windows down, stereo blaring, belting out the lyrics to the theme song. I get very embarrassed thinking about this moment (and all that subsequent wild dancing). I don’t know why I get embarrassed, as if it wasn’t me, or I’m above all that now, or at least beyond it, and perhaps I am, for I don’t remember the last time I rolled down a car window and sang at the top of my lungs. I’ve certainly moved beyond swooning over Kevin Bacon. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand…


My husband was with me on this trip, he who had never seen Footloose, had “no intention of ever seeing Footloose, in any version,” he who, at just the mention of the word foot, might act out unexpectedly, or simply grind his jaw shut. My husband, I should also mention, for the fifteen years that I’ve known him, refuses to dance.


He would be seeing “Ides of March” thank you very much and anybody who wanted to come was welcome. Otherwise he would go alone.

We found the movies playing at a theater at the same time.

Convincing one nephew and his friend that Footloose was for “pansies,” my husband didn’t end up seeing the movie alone. I could have left him for Footloose. But I didn’t. Not because I thought Footloose was for pansies, but because, and this is important, have I mentioned Ryan Gosling? At one point, deep into “The Ides of March,” whose intrigue held me engrossed more than I’d ever thought it would, my husband knocked my elbow off the arm rest as if to bring me back to life, for my head seemed to be inching its way towards the screen, as if…  I think, in the end, my husband had wished I’d gone with my sister, and my sister had wished she’d gone with me.

Oh yeah, and George Clooney’s in the movie too.