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Moving Violations

Year: 1985
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Neal Israel
Producer: Joe Roth
Writer: Neal Israel/Pat Proft
Cast: John Murray, Jennifer Tilly, James Keach, Wendie Jo Sperber, Fred Willard, Sally Kellerman
One of the early to mid eighties gag/teen comedies that riffed strongly on Police Academy, where a one-joke premise was fleshed out by a series of raunchy and puerile skits and set pieces. It was no surprise to find Neal Israel had directed it, a name from the Zucker stable that owned comedy like the Apatow name does today.

That sounds a damning indictment of such a formulaic genre, but this film does it better than the rest. It's still very puerile, its mind still in the gutter and the ideas and characterisations still ridiculous, but this time, it's funny.

Led by jokey partyboy Dana (John Murray, little brother of Bill), a ragtag bunch of weirdos sentenced to a driving course because of traffic offenses turn it into the expected frathouse of sex, parties and bad behaviour.

Murray, along with the whole cast, is likeable and has a great time, never taking anything too seriously. It's actually a shame he didn't go further, showing up only once more that I've seen - as the little brother of his real life big brother in 1988's underrated classic Scrooged.

And keep your eyes peeled for a very famous future cameo. When the psychotic gorehound video buff pushes up to six cars down the hill and they go careering through the drive through of the burger joint, that is indeed Don Cheadle yelling 'good evening, can I help you?' as they all roll past.

Essential viewing for 80s comedy buffs, and deservedly something of a cult classic.

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