ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – R – Risky Business (1983) Movie Review

Director: Paul Brickman

Writer: Paul Brickman (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Panoliano, Richard Masur, Bronson Pichot, Curtis Armstrong

Plot: A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Teen Comedy

Story: Risky Business starts as we meet teenager Joel (Cruise) who is preparing for his college entry exams, feeling the pressure of not passing them, when he gets left home alone, his friends push him into having some more fun in his teenage life.

Joel ends up calling for an escort in Lana (De Mornay) who does give him the night of his life, only he finds himself in a bigger problem, when it turns out she is trying to escape her pimp Guido (Pantoliano), leading to him trying to clean up the mess before his parents get home.

Thoughts on Risky Business

Characters – Joel is a shy teenager worrying about his future and where he will end up going next for college, the pressure of the exams is showing on him, until his friends push him into having some fun, which starts with just having a call girl, only for him becoming more confident in his actions. Lana is the call girl that arrives, gives Joel the night of his life only to leave him in the middle of a world he never knew about, she helps him fix the money problems he might be facing as well as showing him his first love. Guido is the pimp that Lana works for, he seems like he has been mistreating her before she escapes from him, only to keep popping up when Joel least expects it.

PerformancesTom Cruise does grow into this role with ease, he does start by looking awkward, but once he can be the confident character he shines. Rebecca De Mornay is great as the call girl with a heart, we keeps her character filled with mystery about if she is honest or not well through the film. The rest of the cast are great filling in the for the typical 80’s stereotypes.

StoryThe story here followers a teenager that finds himself getting caught up in not worrying anymore about his college, after a call girl introduces him to a world of making money overnight. In the 80s we did see the building of teenagers getting caught up in something out that would get out of control, while trying to keep it secret from their parents. This does follow that idea, well, it shows the change in character when it comes to facing the real world too.

ComedyThe comedy in this film comes from seeing all the different situations Joel finds himself in and how he tries to get out of them, even if they continue to spiral out of control.

SettingsThe film uses Joel’s home as the main setting, it shows how he is meant to keep things normal, only to need to fix the problems that arise.


Scene of the Movie – Catch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – That first night together, please, come on.

Final Thoughts This is a fun 80s comedy that has stood the test of time better than most, Cruise does shine once he gets going and by the end of the film everything works out well.

Overall: Easy Watch.