How did I miss this off-beat 80s teen comedy that skews closer to Savage Steve Holland than John Hughes? I loved the formal rigor director Phil Joanou employs in this comedic tale of high-school dweeb Jerry Mitchell who finds himself targeted by the hulking new bully. From long takes of overlapping dialog to an always-interesting shot choice, the film proved a terrific discovery.
My nitpick: Jerry didn’t connect. Casey Siemaszko delivers an entertaining performance, but the script paints him as a bumbling doofus who’s his own worst enemy. Hard to root for him. Instead, imagine a draft where the second-act finale sees him accept his fate and adopt a devil-may-care attitude befitting a dying man. It kicks off with him seducing Miss Farmer and gets darker and weirder. Too much? Perhaps, but I can’t help wishing this packed a bit more edge.
- 2017 | Shout Factory↩