For the longest time, I resisted the urge to watch this movie. Risky Business is an eighties R-rated teen comedy starring Tom Cruise and featuring a lot of adult themes. Sex, alcohol, prostitution, theft, blackmail, and a lot of other fun illegal activities will make an appearance in this movie. Something that makes it probably not suitable for kids. But incredibly suitable for teenagers and young adults who probably dreamed of a week Cruise had here. To tell you the truth, I found it off-putting because of its lead actor, young Tom Cruise. I thought this is going to be another safe and dull comedy, without an edge. And I was completely wrong.
Not only Risky Business is an intelligent and honest examination of American society but it’s a damn funny film too. Just four years later, another young star is going to break box offices around America but with a different kind of movie. I’m talking, of course, about Charlie Sheen and the movie Wall Street. The mindless pursuit of that green brought a lot of misery into the lives of many people. However, I don’t want to bother you with that right now. Mostly because Risky Business is just too much fun for that type of analysis.
It’s got that juicy eighties atmosphere that will overwhelm you in a matter of minutes. And before you know it, you’ll be all-in, singing along to that groovy soundtrack and thinking about the next movie from the eighties. If I may be so bold I would recommend checking The Night Before and Into the Night. And perhaps The Stoned Age, just to spice things up a bit. Speaking of spicing things up, one of the reasons why I decided to check out Risky Business after forty fucking years was Rebecca De Mornay. She was simply stunning in this movie, and for the life of me, I don’t know how she didn’t become more famous.
Meet Joel, a strapping young lad, with a lot of hopes and dreams. His parents want him to go to Princeton, something that’s not going to be easy. This is why Joel enters the Future Enterprisers program, in an effort to impress his future alma mater. However, all of that is nothing compared to the call of nature, the call of the opposite sex. And when Joel’s parents leave for the week, Joel will answer that call.
After a couple of beers, I was in the mood for something funny. And thinking that Clerks III will be at least watchable, I decided to check them out. After the opening ten minutes, things were not looking good. However, since I’m such a fan of the original (the sequel wasn’t too bad), I stuck with it for another ten minutes. Then I couldn’t take it anymore. So I play this popular eighties teen comedy. And the opening scene just blows me away. It felt so honest, so relatable and so fucking juicy that I couldn’t believe my eyes. I mean, we have nudity within the first three minutes of the movie!
Do you know just how charming Risky Business is? It’s so fucking charming that I completely forgot it’s taking place in an affluent white suburb. Families who live there have these giant houses and casually drive Porsches. To balance things out, director and writer Paul Brickman exposes the American Dream for it really is, a romanticized version of the hollow tribal rite of passage. Just pay attention to the stuff young Joel must think about. To the pressures, he’s exposed to. Carefully listen to what his father says to him and why his “friends” laugh at him.
Society doesn’t care, it’s just going through the motions, grinding up another person. And the grown-ups don’t care about this, they’re too grinded and fucked up to change something. But I digress once again. What can I do, Risky Business is that type of movie. It’s thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time. And it does get the credit it deserves. So, don’t make the same mistake I did, and check it out as soon as possible. You won’t be disappointed.
To make things even worse, the one teen comedy from the eighties about a kid who’s left alone that I did watch time and time again was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Exactly the movie I thought this one is going to be. The eighties work in mysterious ways.
Director: Paul Brickman
Writer: Paul Brickman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur, Bronson Pinchot, Curtis Armstrong
Fun Facts: Tom Cruise completely improvised the iconic dance scene. And by the way, the sunglasses Joel wears are the Ray-Ban Wayfarer model.