Monday, February 20, 2012

Risky Business. A-

Just saw the old Tom Cruise classic Risky Business for the first time-definitely one of the more fulfilling 80s teen comedies. I think I prefer it to all the John Hughes hits, especially because only once does it break into song and dance. Aside from Ghost Protocol, this might by my favorite Tom Cruise performance (coming from someone who is not a major fan). Objectively it's also maybe his best role, mainly because his small figure and goofy smile fit teenage life so well. It's hard to take him very seriously in his adult roles. But as a younger guy, Cruise convinces effortlessly. Risky Business has been likened to The Graduate, and it's definitely worthy of such a comparison. The movies share similar themes and they both have a knack for the hilarious. But there's also something somber and bitter-sweet about the pair of them, which suggests, I guess, real intelligence in the screenplays. Good writing is what makes these movies classics. It's not difficult to make a teen comedy because the many stereotypes available are so widely known. But making a good teen comedy is a challenge because it has to be funny, and it takes greater understanding than the cliches to make it so. Risky Business was written and directed by Paul Brinkman. He seems to have that knowledge down pat.

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