Sunday, August 30, 2015

Movie Review: "One Crazy Summer" (1986)

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Movie"One Crazy Summer"
Director: Savage Steve Holland
Year: 1986
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Hoops McCann (John Cusack) just graduated from high school and is an aspiring artist. The application for his art school requires he write a story about love, but he's finding it difficult without having any love in his life. He decides to spend the summer with his best friend George (Joel Murray) in Nantucket. On their way to the island, they meet a singer named Cassandra (Demi Moore), who is trying to raise money to save her grandfather's house from foreclosure and being sold and turned into a seafood restaurant by the sinister Mr. Beckersted (Mark Metcalf).

"One Crazy Summer" was the second and final collaboration between director Savage Steve Holland and lead star John Cusack. They had previously worked together on the film "Better off Dead." This film, much like their previous one, is a goofball style romantic comedy with wacky characters and fun animated interludes. Cusack plays Hoops McCann, who feels like he has a hopeless love life and is a disappointment to his basketball loving parents, which is something Hoops is terrible at despite his name. What he is good at is drawing, and that is his true passion, but he needs to write a romantic story in order to get accepted into his chosen art school. Hoop's best friend George Calimari, played by Joel Murray, who is probably best known for being Bill Murray's brother, is taking his little sister Squid, played by Kristen Goelz, to Nantucket to spend the summer with their grandparents. George asks Hoops to come along, and despite Hoop's dislike of boats but with nothing else to do over the summer, he agrees to tag along for some potential fun. As soon as they leave, you can tell they are in for a wild time as they run into a singer named Cassandra, played by Demi Moore, who they help escape from a biker gang that's chasing her over some money she took which she claims is actually hers and the gang claim is theirs. What a wild first night in town! Cassandra, who is Hoops would-be love interest, needs the money to save her grandfather's house, which serves as a group home for many senior citizens. This is the main focus of the film. There are a lot of interesting characters like the weird not too bright Stork twins, Egg, played by Bobcat Goldthwait, and Clay, played by Tom Villaird, who look nothing alike despite being twins. They are hilarious weird and a lot of fun to see go from regular weirdo to manic, bizarre men. Clay is regularly bullied by Teddy Beckerstead, played by Matt Mulhern, the douchey, wealthy meat-head jock and son of Aguilla Beckerstead, played by Mark Metcalfe, the man who is trying to buy Cassandra's grandfather's home so he can turn it into a seafood restaurant.

Like most 80's teen comedies, where a wealthy snob is harassing a blue collar hero, it all comes to some kind of sports competition that the white collar villain excels at, but the underdog hero must win against all odds. In this case with "One Crazy Summer," and the sports competition is a boat race here. Like we mentioned, this was the cliché of the 1980's, and similar scenarios can be seen in films like the aforementioned "Better off Dead," "Summer Rental," "Meatballs" both 1&2, and "Revenge of the Nerds," just to name a few. But despite this familiar and overused scenario, it's the wacky stuff surrounding it that makes this movie super fun to watch, even a few decades later. Things like the rent charging grandmother, the sweet looking little girl Squid who will take instant and severe vengeance on anyone who makes fun of her dog, Ack Ack, played by Curtis Armstrong, who is supposed to be a future Marine but gets sad when he finds a lost doll, and the weird uncle who is obsessed with winning a radio contest, it's all hilarious and fits together well to create a zany summer romp and one we enjoy watching quite a bit. It's all these elements that really make this film the off-the-wall summer comedy we remember enjoying as kids.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 60%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "The Great Outdoors"

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