"You look like a pretty sensitive turd to me."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 07/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The mid 80s...sadly, the biggest event during this period in my life was the introduction of cable into my household, and all the cathode tubular promise it held...I actually skipped school one day to stay home and watch The Road Warrior...it was totally worth it, but I'm not recommending any of you youngins' out there to follow my lead...remember, as Mr. T said, `Only a fool skips out on school!'...well, maybe he didn't, but it does sounds like something he'd say, right? As one just coming into his formulative teen years, it afforded me, among other things, the opportunity to see all kinds of naughty, naughty movies (thank you Cinemax, or as we called it, Skinamax) primarily due to the fact this was before the time of programmable parental control features...the only control feature back then was the chance of your mother coming downstairs and beating you silly for watching something she didn't approve of...anyway, this was how I first saw the film Class (1983), a movie I watched again last night for the first time in about 20 years. Directed by Lewis John Carlino (The Great Santini), the film stars Rob Lowe, whom we saw three years earlier dealing with the crisis of being a schoolboy father in an After School Special aptly titled `Schoolboy Father', Andrew McCarthy (St. Elmo's Fire, Mannequin), in his screen debut, and Jacqueline Bisset, who, in my opinion, is responsible for single-handedly introducing the wet T-shirt fad from her role in the film The Deep (1977). Also appearing is Cliff Robertson (Charly, Three Days of the Condor), Alan `Cameron' Ruck (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) along with a number of now famous actors for whom this was their first film, including John Cusack (The Grifters), Virginia Madsen (Electric Dreams), Casey Siemaszko (Biloxi Blues), and Lolita Davidovich (Blaze).
McCarthy plays Jonathan Onger, a highly intelligent, yet awkward and introverted young man from a modest (poor) family with dreams of attending Harvard Law School, and is on his way after receiving a scholarship to a prestigious prep school. On arriving, Jonathan meets his roommate in Franklin 'Skip' Burroughs IV (Lowe), whose basically the exact opposite of Jonathan in that Skip is charming, outgoing, well groomed, polished, and just generally sure of himself to a fault...oh yeah, he also comes from an extremely affluent family (which you could have probably guessed given a name like that). Anyway, Jonathan has a difficult time fitting in (not helped by a very public practical joke played on him by Skip on the first day), but finds a certain amount of respect after he turns the tables on Skip, basically giving as good as he got...the two become fast friends as Jonathan helps Skip with his scholastic difficulties while Skip helps Jonathan with his social inadequacies. After an incident at the sister school while planning an upcoming dance, Jonathan isn't allow to attend, but Skip convinces him to got to nearby Chicago for some much needed action, which he does, and how...in that of a vibrant, attractive, classy, sophisticated, older woman named Ellen (Bisset), who initially takes pity on the poor schlub, eventually molesting him in an elevator (pity sex...it's a beautiful thing). Anyway, the two spend the weekend together, after which Jonathan returns a hero to his fellow classmates, inundated with a newfound respect. The relationship continues hot and heavy, and we can see Jonathan is falling in love (guys generally fall in love with the first woman they get it on with), but Ellen's only interested in a fling, and after learning Jonathan's actually a high school student (he made himself out to be a college man), she quickly takes off, leaving him depressed and heartbroken...and then things get better, as Jonathan finds he's been accepted into Harvard...but things quickly go down the proverbial toilet as certain events take place, including, but not limited to, an investigation at the school regarding widespread fraud...with circumstances threatening Jonathan's friendship with Skip along with his academic future...
First of all, if you're coming into this movie expecting some flesh, you're probably going to be disappointed as Bisset never bares all (very little, in fact), as the only scene displaying anything features Virginia Madsen suffering from a serious wardrobe malfunction eerily reminiscent of the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Superbowl fiasco. This was kind of a strange film in that respect, as it started of with the seeming intent of being sort of a teen sex comedy, but changes course about halfway through dealing with material of a more serious nature (which ends up getting severely slighted). The transition was smooth, but didn't go unnoticed. One thing that surprised me a little was that while the characters were essentially stereotypical, there was little animosity towards Jonathan from his wealthy peers in terms of his coming from a comparatively poor family...yeah, they didn't care for him much in the beginning, but that was more from the fact he was a nerdy dink than anything else. Overall I did enjoy this film, despite its inadequacies, as the actors managed to add dimensionality to what could have been very shallow characters, but there is a sense of unreality in terms of Jonathan hooking up with Ellen as it provided false hope to those of us males who saw this at an impressionable age, believing that there were actually incredibly beautiful, vivacious, wealthy, older women out there looking to have intimate relations with gawky, awkward, naïve, inexperienced teenage boys...perhaps there are, but I never met one, and neither did any of my peers. Jonathan was presented as an extremely pitiful character (especially in terms of being a target of a few practical jokers), but I found it hard to accept Ellen would willingly pursue him the way she did, despite any amount of pity or alcohol (later we find out she might be mentally deranged, which could explain a lot). This isn't a putdown towards Mr. McCarthy, but more towards the unrealistic aspect of the story...but then again, Hollywood relies on suspension of disbelief from its audiences (sometimes too much), so if you can get past this, you'll enjoy the movie a whole lot more. One really strange aspect was the abruptness of the ending...seems like there should have been more story...
The picture, available in both widescreen (1.85:1) and fullscreen pan & scan formats, looks very good, but the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio felt a little soft, specifically during the dialog (oddly, the music came through loud and clear). There's nothing really in terms of special features, unless you count an original theatrical trailer, which I don't (to me that's a standard feature, and not an extra).
Hillarious Film One of the best from the 80`s
Gus Mauro | Brandon,mb | 07/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Definatly one of my fave films from the eighties. A romantic teen comedy dealing with love and sexual expierences. Andrew Mcarthy plays Johnathan a shy introvetrd high school student who attends a posh all boys private school, his roomate Skip Played very well by Rob lowe is the sexually charged playboy who gets the both of them into a lot of trouble. When one night Johnathan is pressured By Skip and fellow peers to go out on the town and have a sexual encounter. After making a fool of himself at seedy bar Johanthan meets an older,viavicous woman by the name of Ellen and the two embark on a passionate night of lovemaking(Especally in the elevator scene)But unknowing to Johanthan the older woman he is sleeping with is the mother to his best friend and roomate Skip. An outragous comedy dealing with a subject people can relate to, The pressures of having sex the need to feel wanted and respected by people around you. It`s not often a story like this is made into a comedy but the producers did a great job in doing so. Both Andrew Mcarthy and Rob Lowe did very well and were belivable in their roles."
First exposure to the physical acts of love and enjoyed it!!
Christopher Dalton | Louisville, Kentucky | 05/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when, at the age of 12, my babysitter(who strikingly resembled Catherine Mary Stewart)let me watch this film with her about a young college student who had an affair with his roommate's beautiful mother. Having been exposed to the act of lovemaking, ... physical love, or however people describe the emotional and physical act, I was impressed with how the film turned out. It may have an '80's version of the 1967 film The Graduate, but it was a joy to watch. British actress Jacqueline Bisset not only radiates her beauty, but she also radiates someone who is sad, if not depressed. Andrew McCarthy (in his first role) does an excellent job of playing a young man who changes from a nerd type to a suave and debonair ladies man. This film was, in many ways, one of the brat pack films, and starred many actors from that era who were just getting started in the industry. Not only are the ... love scenes between Andrew and Jacqueline convincing, they are beautiful and moving. The rest of the film is also enjoyable to watch. If you enjoyed the era of the 1980's and older, beautiful, and sophisticated women characters, then you'll enjoy this hilarious, if not moving film. *Andrew McCarthy stated in an interview that he must have been doing something right when he was offered the role. This was after he had filmed his love scenes with Jacqueline Bisset.*As always, rumors of the love scenes between the two indicated that they were real and not just acting."