When his folks are away Joel Goodsen decides to hire a high class call-girl named Lana. But when he also trashes his dad’s Porsche, the only way he can afford to pay for the repairs is to go into business with Lana and her friends.
The film which shot Tom Cruise to fame, is a strangely affecting mix of frathouse hi-jinks and philosophical treatise. It’s Ferris Bueller with an existential crisis. Very funny and very weird. Cruise’s cocky whelp, cutting loose while his rich folks are out of town, is far too self-aware and troubled to be just a stock heroic hedonist from National Lampoon, despite being a raging hormone with big white underpants dancing to Old Time Rock And Roll by Bob seers. “It seems to me that if there were any logic to our language, trust would be a four letter word,” he considers in a quiet moment between bouts of big grinning. Director Paul Brickman is looking to examine the inner-workings of the preppy straight-A student with the world at his feet and the keys to his dad’s Porsche. Although, we’re not sure we want to get that deep with him.
His relationship with knowing hooker Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) seems to drift from rented shagging to therapy, even if the sex scene on the subway train, all flickering lights and soft rock, chains the film to the ‘80s. The have it both ways, to be juvenile and naughty as the pair scheme to fleece his mates by turning the family home into a brothel for the night, and to Catch Some Rye while its about it, is too big an ask.
Cruise, though, makes us care enough. He’s never been a hugely versatile actor but he can knit his brow as if thoughts and worries are gathering up there, and for all the innuendo which is surprisingly fleshless, creates a credible character. A star was born.
Released: 01 April 1999
Cursory biogs (Tom Cruise was in something called Top Gun apparently) and scene index.
Good '80's teen movie with a suitable soundtrack and the loveable Cruise displaying his new found starry confidence.
Reviewed by Ian Nathan