"Volunteers" is, as well, a middling-to-amusing 1985 movie starring Tom Hanks
, John Candy
, and Rita Wilson
. The essential premise is that Hanks is an undisciplined and oversexed collegiate upper-crust fast talker -- sort of a con man with no need to do any conning because he's born rich. But then his father refuses to pay off his gambling
debts, leaving Hanks with no recourse but to switch places with a college friend on a Southeast-Asia bound Peace Corps
mission. On this long, long flight, Hanks flirts with Wilson's earnestly idealistic character by pretending to share her views, and meets Candy's over-the-top cheerfully gung-ho architect, a font of Americanisms bent on bringing civilization to the unilluminated.
With some predictability, the trio are sent to the same village to organize the villagers and build a bridge to civilization (which, it turns out, the communists wish to use to spread communism, the local American military detachment wishes to use to spread Americanism, and the local drug lord wishes to use to spread opium). At the same time, Hanks continues to pursue romance with Wilson, who is being courted simultaneously (and, initially, more successfully), by an American military macho man. Hijinks ensue. At some point during the course of the film, each of the main cast members is kidnapped by one or another of the competing groups in order to be threatened/brainwashed/comedically assaulted. On second watching (after several decades), the film had a number of surprisingly witty moments tucked in amidst its general implausibility.
Outside of the story, this film is noteworthy for being the launching pad for one of Hollywoood's most successful high-profile marriages
, between Hanks and Wilson. The pair previously had worked together on Bosom Buddies, but their relationship began while filming this film.