(director: Rob Reiner; screenwriter: Jonathan Roberts/Steve Bloom; cinematographer: Robert Elswit; editor: Robert Leighton; music: Tom Scott; cast: John Cusack (Gibson), Daphne Zuniga (Alison Bradbury), Anthony Edwards (Lance), Boyd Gaines (Jason), Tim Robbins (Gary Cooper), Lisa Jane Persky (Mary Ann Webster), Nicollette Sheridan (The Sure Thing); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Roger Birnbaum; Embassy Pictures; 1985)

A slightly amusing mainstream coming-of-age rom/com directed by Rob Reiner.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A slightly amusing mainstream coming-of-age rom/com directed by Rob Reiner(“The Bucket List”/”North”/”The Magic of Belle Isle“). It rips off the story line from It Happened One Night (1934), but the story here lacks excitement and Cusack is no Clark Gable.

John Cusack plays a feisty, obnoxious New England college freshman named Walter Gibson, who is miserable because he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He tries to make a pass at his attractive but uptight goody-goody English classmate, Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga), but she rejects him. Gib’s pal from high school, the wise guy Lance (Anthony Edwards), attends college in sunny LA and fixes Gib up with a sexy gal who is a ‘sure thing’ (Nicollette Sheridan). Gib takes the bait after seeing her pose in a bikini for a photo and shares a ride over the Christmas holidays with a corny upbeat sing together insisting couple (Tim Robbins & Lisa Jane Persky). By coincidence Alison joins them, as she’s going to LA to see her UCLA boyfriend (Boyd Gaines). Though the two initially don’t get along, by the time they return from LA things have warmed up considerably.

This was Cusack’s first starring role. The sentimental old-fashioned romance lacks magic, has too many stale comedy cliches and is too predictable. But it might be refreshing for those in search of a tame teen romancer, one that is even a little bit sassy.

REVIEWED ON 12/10/2014 GRADE: C+