Class (1983)

Directed by Lewis John Carlino
Written by Jim Kouf, David Greenwalt
Produced by Martin Ransohoff, Jim Kouf, David Greenwalt, Jill Chadwick, Cathleen Summers
Starring Andrew McCarthy, Jacqueline Bisset, Rob Lowe, Cliff Robertson, John Cusack, Alan Ruck, Rodney Pearson, Stuart Margolin, Remak Ramsay, Virginia Madsen, Deborah Thalberg, Fern Persons, Casey Siemaszko, Aaron Douglas, Anna Maria Horsford, Hal Frank, Dick Cusack, William Visteen, James D. O’Reilly, Caitlin Hart, Virginia Morris, Stewart Figa, Paula Clarendon, Joan Cusack, John Kapelos

Few can foreknow a motherfucker, certainly no one in the acquaintance of a bright, green, gawky, gullible preppie (McCarthy) who pursues an affair with a quadragenarious alcoholic (Bisset) before both realize that she’s the mother of his prankish, privileged, popular roommate (Lowe). Screenwriters/co-producers Kouf and Greenwalt proposed to pen a picture that’s equal parts touching coming of age and scabrous collegial comedy in the manner and on the coattails of Animal House, and the result succeeds as neither, despite some funny horseplay and facetiae, and drama deftly delivered by a rock-solid cast. It’s best as a showcase for that last: Bisset’s in goatish good form; Robertson and Margolin are severally, suitably cast as Lowe’s stern dad and a misunderstood investigator of Illinois’ attorney general; charismatic pretty boys McCarthy and Lowe buoy these proceedings as the archetypes in which they’d be typecast for a decade: sensitive sweetheart and jocular bad boy. Observant fans of genre cinema in the ’80s will spot other prominent players aplenty in future hits — Ruck, Madsen, Siemaszko, the Cusack sibs, et al. Were the duds among its comedic moments excised along with the worst score of Elmer Bernstein’s otherwise recherche renascence, the dramatic interaction compressed, and twenty minutes so shorn, this could’ve been a very good movie.

Recommended for a double feature paired with Don’t Laugh at My Romance.

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