The Sure Thing

Year: 1985
Production Co: Embassy Film Associates
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Stephen L Bloom/Jonathan Roberts
Cast: John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Anthony Edwards, Nicolette Sheridan, Tim Robbins

Another of the John Cusack/Savage Steve Holland classic teen comedies - but wait, you cry - it was directed by Rob Reiner. I call it a Steve Holland comedy because it has elements of much zanier Cusack movies like One Crazy Summer and Better Off Dead.

Gib (Cusack) is wallowing at a New England college where the girls are all intellectual and wear long skirts while his friend Lance (Edwards) enjoys the constant party of California college life. Gib's grades are slipping, his roommate's getting more action than he is and life generally sucks. Even the light on the horizon in the form of Alison (Zuniga), whom he convinces to tutor him in English, is fading fast when she turns out not only to be a neat freak ('eight o'clock, I don't know, that's when I rearrange my sock drawer' as Gib teases her at one point) but has a boyfriend.

Lance finally convinces Gib to go west for the holidays where he promises a sure thing's (Sheridan) waiting for him, the photo complete with beach in the background and her in a gold bikini.

When Gib finds a ride on the student bulletin board with a happy go lucky couple that includes Gary Cooper (Robbins) - but not the Gary Cooper who's dead - he bundles in to find Alison in the passenger seat, sparking off a classic odd couple road movie

The couple's sniping at each other soon gets them chucked out of the couple's car in desperation and they have to cross the country together by hell or high water, alternately irritating and drawing closer to each other. The arrival in California will test everything they thought they held dear and even though you'll see it all coming a mile off it's all sweet and funny to behold.

Even back them Cusack had the charisma that would carry him through his whole career, and if ever Rob Reiner was at home making a teen comedy, this was it.

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