I can’t believe I went so long without seeing this 1980s teen classic! But I finally sat down and watched the film that launched Tom Cruise’s career in Hollywood… Risky Business. This is a teenage coming of age comedy film that’s decidedly more adult in subject matter and content than most other teen coming of age films… and that allows it to have some more depth, I think. Thanks to a well written script that cares about its characters, and solid lead performances from Cruise and De Mornay… this is a truly quality film.
This is billed as a comedy and there are some funny scenes and moments but I saw it as more than that. They do a really great job here of giving us great characters that we learn about and grow to care for. This isn’t a comedy full of silliness and slapstick, but rather it’s a film with comedic dialogue peppered throughout a story that I found to be… moving.
Some may find that hard to believe considering it involves prostitutes and a guy using his house as a brothel to make some quick money, but… even with those aspects… it’s still heart warming. The heart of the whole thing is mainly thanks to Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay’s characters and their connection. What starts as a one night stand evolves into a nice relationship that I think benefits both characters in a lot of ways.
Cruise’s character is very by the book and hasn’t taken a whole lot of risks… and on the flip side, De Mornay’s characters has been on her own for some time and just may be taking too many risks. Them coming together proves to be just what each of them needed and I think the script shows that well. They have some really lovely well acted and well filmed scenes that help to cement their chemistry.
I really loved the sex scenes because I found them to be tasteful and tender, rather than just outright sleazy. This isn’t an overtly crass film, it’s a tender charming film that just happens to involve hookers and several sex scenes.
Before I talk about the performances I want to mention that I also really liked the supporting characters. Joel’s friends have a good bit of screen time too and they aren’t the typical hyper crude teenage boys you sometimes see in these films. The characters of Miles and Barry were really quite nice and I liked having them in the background.
I thought Tom Cruise was just excellent as Joel. Cruise, love him or hate him, is such a talented actor and he’s able to portray this young man as a tender, respectful, lovable guy. Joel is a character you’ll fall in love with because of the positive sweet energy that Cruise brings to him. Cruise also fits the part physically too… he’s of course very good looking and he puts that KILLER smile to good use in many scenes.
Rebecca De Mornay brings a confident warmth to Lana. I loved the attitude she had and the way she related to Joel (Cruise’s character). And to top it off, they have such natural onscreen chemistry, especially during their physical scenes. The films ends in a way that some may find to be cliché but I thought it was very charming and representative of these two characters relationship. After all, THAT is the main reason this is such a quality and popular film… these main characters.
Risky Business is for sure one of the best coming of age films out there. If you haven’t seen this one, check it out! It’s a classic that DESERVES to be called a classic.