Famous for launching Tom Cruise into fame and for its unique style, “Ricky Business” is a must to get over adolescence.
From the memorable performance of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear all around the house, to the impeccable style and approach of director Paul Brickman to the younger generations of the moment, “Ricky Business” (1983) got the patent of the teenage comedy that marked the genre for decades.
Joel (Tom Cruise) is an American boy in his final exams and complex decisions season. The transition to university is just around the corner and the angst that imprisons him grows when his parents leave him home alone to go on a trip. It’s a simple context with which however Paul Brickman – who also wrote the script – looks over each and every one of the adolescence’s concerns, wrapping Joel in a spiral of trouble that starts with the simple and yet compromising desire of loosing virginity, and ends up immersing the boy in a prostitution business in his own house, a business that is obviously beyond the control of the teenager very soon. It’s a story marked by embarrassing situations – and therefore quite funny – with which Joel evidences his vast inexperience in the adult and sexual world he fantasizes with. It is however in this way how the movie, brilliantly and with a very American style crescendo, easily dives and explore the loss of innocence and the overcoming of adolescence typical of the contemporary teenage generations.
“Risky Business” has been compared – and not without a reason – to “The Graduate” (Mike Nichols, 1967). It’s not only the parallelism of the topic that connects both movies, but also the unique style that characterizes them. Paul Brickman, as did Nichols, uses the key tools to capture youth – sexuality, fantasy and music – being Joel one of the many teenagers that dream of a prosperous future and a successful sex life, and that without a defined plan, a lot of confusion and problems (lots of problems) get away with it.
It is easy to recognize the structural scheme of the film, as it has been imitated to infinity by american teenage comedy that has definitely taken over movie theaters in the recent decades, but it is enough to watch it once to realize the originality and efficiency that characterize Brickman’s film. “Ricky Business” is fun and captivating, never banal. Indispensable.
By Nicolás Solís Vela
Risky Business – Paul Brickman, 1983
Famosa por lanzar a Tom Cruise a la fama y por su estilo único, “Risky Business” es una película imprescindible para superar la adolescencia.