14/03/2011

Forgotten Gem: The Sure Thing (1985)


According to John Cusack, he's only made ten good films in his entire career and although he never explicitly listed them in that particular interview, I'm going to assume that The Sure Thing, one of the most underrated teen comedies of the 80s and the film that separates This Is Spinal Tap and Stand By Me in Rob Reiner's filmography, is one of those ten. If you haven't seen The Sure Thing, maybe you shouldn't watch this trailer which manages to give away every aspect of the plot. You've been warned.


Unfortunately a lot of what happens has been wrung to death in subsequent years by the likes of Saved By The Bell and anything starring Jennifer Aniston/Kate Hudson/Drew Barrymore/etc but for every "guy asks girl to tutor him with the intention of getting into her knickers" and "they hate each other now, but will love each other by the end credits", there's an effervescently quotable script ("I'm talking to you cordless!") and endless charm that never lets up during its swift 90 minute running time. 

Cusack is at ease playing this sort of lovable slacker and Daphne Zuniga is that typical homely but hot brunette of the 80s (see also: Phoebe Cates) that would never fly "nowadays". But most importantly, The Sure Thing teaches us some vital life lessons such as: How To Eat A Pizza Without Burning The Roof Of Your Mouth, How To Stop A Rapist By Going Crazy, How To Negotiate With A Beggar, How To Blend In With Some Truckers and How To Name Your Child. See, life lessons!