Sunday, February 12, 2006

"It would not be tonight..."

One of my favorite films of the 80’s tends to get overlooked in it’s category of “teen movie” since the cast didn’t include any of the members of the brat-pack and John Cusack is known for very little besides holding a boom box over his head during the 80’s. “The Sure Thing” is a about Walter “Gib” Gibson’s journey to California for winter break to visit a buddy who promises him a “no strings attached, sure-thing.” This promise seems to appeal to most teenage males on some level or another.

He ends up sharing a ride with a lovely couple who are extremely peppy and sing show tunes constantly, and a member of his English class Alison who is visiting her boyfriend. Quickly we learn that Gib and Alison are not fond of each other, as they are constantly fighting. Needless to say Gib secures their fate when he gets them kicked out of the car and they are forced to hitch hike.

In a series of events that are similar to what takes place in the film “It happened one night” they begin to fight less and less and eventually you see their feelings soften for one another, just in time to reach California. When Alison and Gib are thrown back into reality they struggle with the fact that they may actually have feelings for one another. Alison’s boyfriend Jason is no longer as perfect as he once appeared on paper, and Gib finds the “sure thing” a bit unsatisfying. They return to their New England College separately.

Back at school the English professor exposes the truth that Gib hadn’t slept with his “sure thing.” While in the moment she had asked, “do you love me?” He realized he didn’t, and couldn’t lie to her. The ethical egoist would have lied to her, to get what he wanted. Matthew Broderick was also up for the role of Gib, yet Rob Reiner didn’t want the character of Gib to feel like Ferris Bueller. I think if Broderick had won the role we would have seen Gib more as a manipulator than as someone who truly would rather have the “real thing” instead of a “sure thing.”

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

You can always win points win you make a connection to a movie outside the 80s, and you went far back to the mid-1930s with IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, five time Oscar winner, including best picture, and you are right to put the two together as romance road pictures. Well done.

Plus, John Cusack is the man.