Our next installment of “What not to Watch: Movie Makeovers” features a film selected by my Aunt Kathy who isn’t a huge movie person but this may have scarred her for life. Considering she saw it in the drive-in in the 1960’s and still remembers how bad it was to this day, it would seem that the impact left by “Follow That Dream” was memorable. As always, if you have a bad movie you want to alert the masses about or you think you have a better idea to remake the movie than me please leave your comments below.
Elvis Presley was a celebrity on a whole different level. He was a rock star and actor as well as a cultural icon. No one before him or since has ever been even close to that level of celebrity except for maybe Michael Jackson and Madonna. Not all of his movies were great but “King Creole” and “Flaming Star” are still considered good movies even by today’s standards. One movie stuck out in my aunt’s mind as being exceptionally bad and that movie was “Follow That Dream”. My holiday gift to her is me warning potential Elvis fans about this movie so as to not ruin a chance for someone becoming a fan of the “King of Rock and Roll”.
Presley portrays Toby Kwimper, who is on a trip with his father and “adopted” siblings including 19 year old Holly. While travelling in Florida they run out of gas on an unfinished road and decide to live where they stopped in an act called “homesteading”. They decide going and getting gas is too hard so they will BUILD A HOUSE and start a business. Nowadays I can see building a home being cheaper than filling your car with gas but in the 60’s, gas was pretty cheap. The plot, while not completely impossible is fairly unrealistic. Toby’s father, only called Pop, has a number of children that are not adopted nor actual family. I’m fairly certain that an adoption process would have to take place in order for this to happen, but again I’m not an expert.
Presley’s Toby isn’t smart. It’s to the point of having some kind of disorder, traumatic brain injury or developmental disability. There is a part early in the movie where they get the car stuck and Toby lifts the car a few feet off the ground and moves it about 10 feet. Quick Math: Ford Model A from the late 20’s weighs over 2,000 lbs with 2 adults and 3 children add up to about 2,500 lbs overall. There are examples of people having hysterical strength in times of danger but this was not acted out here. Basically, he’s a simple man that was kicked out of the army despite having constant drunk muscles and has the hots for his not sister. Sounds like a good amount of the meth heads in Lockport, NY.
There is a weird phenomena that exists where every rock star wants to be a movie star and every movie star wants to be a rock star. I don’t know where they get these ideas. Mariah Carey, Elvis, Madonna, Sting, and Vanilla Ice all tried to turn into actors and failed epically. Russell Crowe, Bruce Willis, Keanu Reeves, and Kevin Bacon are some great failures in music history. The majority of actors and singers don’t have what it takes to be a triple threat (Acting, Singing, and Dancing). If all actors were Neil Patrick Harris or Beyoncé I would have far fewer movies to pick from for these reviews.
A rewrite could be very doable. The songs and musical aspects could easily be kept and instead of “homesteading” which I don’t think is a thing anymore, the family could take over an abandoned building/factory and site some made up laws about if you can fix it up in x time then it’s yours. Our Toby character could be portrayed by any big guy that can play simple, my first thought is a triple threat actor that women want to see shirtless, Hugh Jackman . The abandoned building would be in the a city and the country folk would have to try and get along in an urban environment. The father could be played by any aging comedian, my choice is Don Rickles because he’s amazing. Holly could easily be played by anyone from Glee..Put that movie together and I would be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck.