An Officer and a Gentleman

Year: 1982
Studio: Paramount
Director: Taylor Hackford
Cast: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, Louis Gossett Jr, David Keith, Robert Loggia, David Caruso
A simple story cut from the cloth of the time, but so dated now it's almost embarrassing to watch.

It's not the fashions, the design or anything tangible, it's the way the characters behave, the way they wear unsympathetic emotions on their sleeves. Gere is cornier than a ham and corn sandwich as the loner who just can't let himself... get... too... close.

Despite any sort of arguments about how the girls are feisty and call the shots, the film has a very cookie-cutter place for men and women and they slot into misogynist roles very easily.

After being bought up by his womanising, drunk sailor of a father, young thug Gere joins the navy to better himself, putting into play the central theme; can one pull oneself up by the bootstraps and be a better person or is one cursed with ones upbringing and environment forever?

He enters flight training, overseen by a cruel drill sergeant Gossett Jr (although pretty soft by the later template set down by R Lee Ermey's classic character in Full Metal Jacket), and falls in love with pretty factory worker Debra Winger.

He spends the whole film jostling against everything, unable to shake off his anti-authoritarian and irresponsible sensibilities before the ending we all know, belted out by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

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