Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

So Melissa and I went to go see Footloose last Friday, and I totally loved it. This may come as a surprise to those of you who know of my exquisite taste in film. (Other favorites include A Walk to Remember and The Princess Diaries.)

Seriously, though, there are few things I enjoy more than a feel-good movie about high schoolers who are played by adults.

Ren, the main character, was totes adorbs and a sweetheart. And I identified with Julianne Hough's character, Ariel, because we both 1) are preachers' daughters 2) have crushes on Ren and 3) are super rebellious and can dance really well.

Just kidding about number three. Julianne Hough is a terrible dancer.

Just kidding about identifying with Ariel at all, actually. She was kind of trampy, so I never really figured out why Ren liked her. It was probably that whole preacher's-daughter appeal. Except for the fact that, as far as I can tell, that's not a real thing.

You know how there are activist groups concerned with the media portrayal of various people groups? Why isn't there one for preachers' kids?

I should totally do my grad thesis on the media portrayal of preachers' kids. It would be so journalistic of me. My research would probably involve watching lots of 7th Heaven. And my conclusion would be like, Hey, Dusty Springfield, not all preachers' kids can reach you and/or teach you things. Hey, Nicholas Sparks, not all preachers' kids inadvertently win the hearts of their schools' bad boys. Hey, whoever wrote 7th Heaven, not all preachers' kids have a million siblings.

One scene in Footloose particularly amused me because it was exactly like a scene in A Walk to Remember. Basically Ren/Landon wants to go out with Ariel/Jamie, so he goes to the dad's sanctuary one evening and stops him practice-preaching to ask for permission to go out with his daughter. And the preacher-dad totally doesn't want to say yes but says yes anyway because he is all moved by Ren/Landon's forwardness and knows that saying yes is the Christian thing to do.

I don't know why Ren and Landon figured they would find the preacher-dads in the sanctuary after hours, and I don't know why they were right. I've never found my dad chilling in the sanctuary at nighttime, giving sermons when there's no one there. (Take note, rebellious high school boys.)

Ridiculous portrayal of the preacher's fam aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and could not get enough of the soundtrack. Can we talk about this cover of "Holding Out for a Hero" for a second? Because I've basically had it on repeat since I left the movie theater.

I've always loved this song — and by always, I mean since Frou Frou covered it in 2004 — but this version is by far the best I've heard. I feel like the author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough (which I borrowed from Taylor over SBXI but didn't finish because it was depressing but which Melissa did finish and always references) would probably have a few words for whoever penned this song. Namely that it's unreasonable to expect a man to be not only a hero but also strong and fast and fresh from the fight and sure and soon and larger than life. (Obligatory Backstreet Boys reference.)

And that author would probably be right. Because those expectations are pretty unreasonable. But I'm keeping the song on repeat anyway because how am I supposed to weed through all those rebellious high school boys pining for my preacher's-daughter heart unless I keep my standards really high? Answer me that, Lori Gotlieb. Except for the fact that, as we established earlier, that whole preacher's-daughter appeal may or may not actually exist. So — for good measure/your listening pleasure — I've also included my second favorite Footloose soundtrack song, one which Lori Gotlieb would probably fully approve of.

p.s. Totes just did some Googling and found out that somebody already did a grad thesis on stereotypes of preachers' kids. Not even kidding. This is how she ends her introduction:

"For some time, perhaps even as long as there have been preacher’s kids; there has been a stereotype that is imbedded within our society. This stereotype, simply stated, is that the children of ministers are considered hellions and are believed to be capable of any form of bad or deviant behavior. There is also the belief that even though the children are thought to be deviant, they are also ideally supposed to be perfect."

p.p.s. She should have made "preacher's" plural possessive instead of singular possessive in her first sentence. And her first semicolon should be a comma. And she used the nonstandard spelling of "embed."

p.p.p.s. In case you guys didn't know, I am a hellion capable of bad and deviant behavior. Also, perfect.