Comedy / Crime / Drama / Romance
Comedy / Crime / Drama / Romance
A suburban Chicago teenager's parents leave on vacation, and he cuts loose. An unauthorised trip in his father's Porsche means a sudden need for lots of money, which he raises in a creative way.
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August 09, 2018 at 02:48 PM
A Stylish and Intelligent Comedy that redefined the teen angst comedy and created a new movie star
RISKY BUSINESS is the smart and sexy 1983 teen comedy that brought intelligence to the genre and made a bonafide movie star out of Tom Cruise. Cruise is utterly winning as Joel Goodson, a high school senior excited about the prospect of having the house to himself when his parents go out of town for a few days; but things go from bad to worse when Joel crosses paths with a nubile prostitute (Rebecca DeMornay). This surprise hit brought an element of sophistication that was absent from a lot of the teen comedies that were populating the screen in the 1980's. This movie boasts a smart screenplay, imaginative direction, a memorable musical score, and on-target performances from Cruise, DeMornay, Curtis Armstrong, Joe Pantoliano (memorable as a slimy pimp), Bronson Pinchot, and Janet Carroll. Tom's sexy underwear dance to "Old Time Rock and Roll" has become Hollywood folklore. An instant classic upon release that still holds up over 20 years later.
"I deal in human fulfillment."
Risky Business is a film people unfortunately seem to forget about when they're listing off great teen movies. Tom Cruise, in his first major role, is wonderful as Joel Goodson. He's a boy-next-door type whose life spirals wildly out of control when his parents leave him alone for a few days. Joel is a decent student looking to spend his time wisely during his senior year of high school and hopefully get into a good college. He finds out the hard way that a few bad decisions can lead to all kinds of problems and possibly ruin your future at that age. The film has the intelligence of a John Hughes film combined with the sexual content of a Porky's film. Risky Business is the best of both worlds, if you look at it that way.
Tom Cruise's Joel Goodson seems to have a lot going for him. He is the only child living in a nice house in suburban Chicago with his loving parents. You get the sense that he's never been left alone for any extended period of time the way they fawn over him before they leave. After leaving him a decent wad of money and a few instructions about what to do and what not to do around the house, his parents split, and Joel is left all alone. Things go downhill fairly quickly. His best friend (that scene stealing Curtis Armstrong)orders him a prostitute that will show up right at his front door. Needless to say, the person who shows up is not what Joel is looking for. In a fit of sexual frustration, Joels orders the services of the gorgeous, but high-priced Rebecca De Mornay. After a wild night of sex, she informs him he owes her $300. That is substantially more money than his parents left him. Before his dilemma is solved, Joel crashes his father's Porshe in Lake Michigan, gets suspended from school, has a crazed pimp on his tail, and winds up turning his home into a brothel for one night to pay for all the damages he's caused.
This plot could have been crafted into an awful movie. Director Paul Brickman knows what he's doing, though. He gives each of his main characters enough dimension that we as the audience actually care what happens to them. We feel Joel's agony as his future seems in doubt during the film's final half hour. Rebecca De Morany is given considerably more depth that you'd think, but we are never allowed to get close enough to truly trust her. Joe Pantoliano is terrific as her pimp, also.
Is this film believable? Heavens no. It's plays more like a young man's sexual fantasy run amok. The first scene of the movie mirrors this theme. We see Joel dreaming about having sex with a hot young woman in the shower, then finding himself three hours late for his college entrance exam. We walk such a fine line between pleasure and big trouble at that age.....
9 of 10 stars The Hound.
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Vastly underrated Sign 'o' the Times
Underrated (I): Cruise (Joel Goodson) is highly amusing as one of his most feared "career moves" might become harsh reality: University of Illinois - here he is! Excellent movie providing an accurate, contemporary image of the eighties. Well to do family all shook up by low class intruders of various kinds. Underrated (II): the importance of the exhilarating music for this movie, providing a perfect match - between dreamy Techno (Tangerine Dream) and "that old time rock 'n roll" (Seger, The Police, Phil Collins, Muddy Waters, Bruce Springsteen). The relationship with De Mornay is amazingly vibrant - the dialogue sharp and cheerful. Everlasting oneliners everywhere. The impression this movie made here in Europe (is that what American highschool life is really about?) can hardly be overrated.