Watching all the movies on the Warner Bros. 50-movie box set that I bought for cheap. This week the random number generator fusses over its expensive glass egg as it selects Risky Business.
Here’s what happens: Teen Joel’s well-to-do parents are going out of town for a few days, leaving him in charge of the house while they’re gone. Joel is a serious, studious type, but his friends encourage him to cut loose. After a few comedic mishaps, Joel ends up entangled with a prostitute, Lana, and her “manager,” Guido the Killer Pimp.
Why it’s famous: Young Tom Cruise, dancing in his pajamas and sunglasses, lip-syncing to “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Also one of the bigger examples of the “teen sex comedy” wave of the ‘80s.
Get your film degree: While most movies on this kind are low-budget trashy affairs (*coughPorkyscough*) Risky Business is a shiny, glossy studio film, with a moody Tangerine Dream score. Writer-director Paul Brickman has done very little outside of Risky Business, his only other well-known credit is as screenwriter for 1999’s Clint Eastwood flick True Crime.
Movie geekishness: Aside from stars Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay, the movie features a ton of cult actors such as Joey Pantoliano, Bronson Pinchot, and Curtis Armstrong. This is a comedy with not a lot of jokes, with Armstrong delivering most of the gags as the horndog best friend.
Thoughts upon this viewing: I don’t know. This one starts off as a John Hughes-style teen romp, but then makes a jarring left turn into a drama about prostitution and capitalism. I can understand why the movie is well-liked, but Ferris Bueller is more my style.
Next: Row, row, row your boat.
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