I must admit that I am partial to "cheesy
" 1980s movies. However, I think Risky Business
is especially good.
is, at first sight
, nothing more than a slick coming-of-age comedy
. But it is much more. The values that are being pounded into Joel, the lead character played by Tom Cruise
, as a "Future Enterpriser" whereby he and his schoolmates
have to make and ruthlessly market a product that people will want to buy) are exactly those that he uses so successfully to turn his parents' home into a bordello
for one night, grossing $8000 in the process. His actions may be seen as seedy and reprehensible, but they mirror precisely the economic values of the period - it's no coincidence that Paul Brickman
made this remarkable film at a time when Reagan
policies were leading to financial fortune for some at the expense of destitution for many. The film is a parody
of 1980s business ethics
- hence the title. Oh, and it's also funny (Bronson Pinchot
is marvellous as Joel's geeky friend Barry), erotic (the scene on the train especially so, which is remarkable as you don't see any flesh
) and with a great soundtrack
(witness Joel taking his Dad's Porsche
out for a spin to the pounding accompaniment of Jeff Beck
's "The Pump", or the instant classic status accorded to the scene where Joel dances in his underpants
to Bob Seger
's "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll
Miles: Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, "What the fuck." "What the fuck" gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.
Joel Goodson: My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment. I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?
Joel Goodson: There's one thing I've learned in all my years: sometimes you gotta say "what the fuck," make your move.