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Private School is one of those movies which, all these years later, you
just know that everyone who had anything to do with making it is
embarrassed to have been involved. Heck, I'm embarrassed and all I did
was watch the stupid thing. It's a teen sex comedy about the students
at two private schools, one for girls and one for boys. The plot
revolves around the boys and their rather pathetic attempts to see the
girls naked. Antics ensue. Desperately unfunny antics. Even in the most
horrible comedy movies there's usually a good laugh or two sprinkled in
somewhere. Not here. There is nothing funny in this movie. Nothing. The
movie features a young Matthew Modine who was very fortunate to salvage
a career after appearing in this turkey and Phoebe Cates, fresh off her
Fast Times at Ridgemont High bikini brilliance. Ray Walston, who played
Mr. Hand in Fast Times, also pops up. Oh, how I wish I had just watched
Fast Times again instead of sitting through this debacle of a movie.
Aside from Modine, Cates and Walston the cast is made up of a bunch of nobodies, most of whose acting is so terrible it is easy to see why they had no careers to speak of. The closest thing to a somebody besides the aforementioned trio is Betsy Russell. It is her character, Jordan, who's the bad girl determined to break up the sweet, innocent couple played by Modine and Cates. Jordan's seductive weapon of choice? Topless horseback riding. Subtle. If nothing else that provides a memorable fifteen seconds of film. Of course if the best thing you can say about a movie is that a girl takes her shirt off and rides around on a horse for fifteen seconds you know it must be a truly awful movie indeed. There's also the obligatory shower scene which at least gives us a few minutes of relief from the movie's hideous dialogue, terrible jokes and incredibly uninteresting plot. Very early on in the movie one of the characters goes off to get herself a bag full of horse excrement. Seriously. There's a statement about this movie's quality right there. How would I succinctly describe this movie? It's exactly what's in that bag.
I say the Betsy Russell topless horseback riding scene alone is worth giving this movie 10 stars! And whose idea was it to show it in slo-mo? Brilliant!! I hope that guy won an Oscar! I also enjoyed the scene with Mrs. Dutchbok and Chauncey in the back seat of the limousine. However, I could have lived without the scene of Matthew and Phoebe at the hotel. Too much of an attempt at some genuine tenderness! If I wanted to see that, I would've watched "Endless Love" or something. Give me prime T&A and slapstick highjinx and I'm satisfied.
While the movie was definitely corny, it has it laughs. However I was disappointed to find out Martin Mull was not credited for his hilarous performance as the pharmacist. Early Matthew Modine flick, but his charm is evident even in this early picture.
This movie is exactly what it explicitly claims to be. It is nudity,
and humour characteristic of junior-high students; the film neither
to be nor achieves anything more. The best way to describe "Private
is simply this: It's a flick Al Bundy would love. Need we say more?
fans of Phoebe Cates will appreciate it, as will male fans of Betsy
and any fans of female nudity in general, but those looking for any more
edifying characteristics will be sadly disappointed.
I advise renting this movie IF and ONLY IF you're looking for what it patently advertises. There's nothing particularly unwholesome or filthy about "Private School" -- i.e., little or no violence, and none toward females -- but there's equally little in it that's particularly wholesome or clean, as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A run of the mill movie from the 80's with nudity, silliness and boys wanting to see nubile girls bereft of clothing with some broad humour. The movie gets it's rating even though it is a watered down version of the superb Fast Times at Ridgemont High which also starred Phoebe Cates. Yes Ms. Cates is nice to look at but she does not have the ability to carry this movie. The story basically is of some boys and girls at two private schools and all the mischief they seem to get into. The cast tries but I have seen this movie many other times and all the clichés. Fun for the memories but like one's youth something are best in the past.
This movie is a dud. Scene after irreverent scene of moronic adolescent hijinks and dumb dialogue. The start-to-finish idiocy is retch-inducing. However, tan and shapely Betsy Russell's revealing appearances make the film palatable--barely.
I had to laugh when I saw that another reviewer learned of this movie
from Electronic Games magazine in 1983. I must have had the same issue
kicking around my bedroom for years, and the ad always stuck in my mind
(must have been Phoebe Cates in that leotard). I didn't see it myself
till the mid-90's however, so there's nothing for me to be nostalgic
otherwise about the film.
The scene of Modine and his cronies pretending to be women while sneaking around is so bad it has to be seen to be believed.
The film represents the more forgettable of the 80s teen flicks, and when you consider at the same time we had Porky's and Revenge of the Nerds, 2 of the genre's best, this was put out as a complete cash grab.
About a year before Phoebe Cates was in this garbage, she was in a little movie called Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That film turned out to be the sleeper of 1982 due to its marvelous script and great cast. Flash forward a year later and she is now in a pale wannabe that basically tries to rip off a great film. The story is non-existent and whatever plot this film has is basically the same as the other teen sex romps that came out this year. Too bad that an actress as talented as Ms. Cates had to make a bad career move by acting in this film the year after appearing in a film that, to me, was the American Graffiti of its generation. In fact, she is probably the only actor in this film to have steady work after the release of this film. Avoid this film at all costs.
This "comedy" about Matthew Modine & his sex crazed buddies was allegedly created by those in the marketing department as a sure fire hit. The only thing they forgot was a script, good actors, funny scenes... A disaster. Not even beautiful Phoebe Cates can save.
I first heard of this film, believe it or not, in a videogame magazine.
Electronic Games showed a full page ad for this yawning raunchfest in 1983,
but I didn't see it until 1987 or so.
What happens when you put a mix of hot young stars, actors from yesteryear, a horrible script, and a T.V. movie director? You get this 80's disgrace about the sexual shenanigans at two private schools. Relying on dumb, crude humour as well as every school stereotype in the book, this film brings it all to the table. Even though Betsy Russell brings her imposing assets to celluloid, it doesn't help the fact the film relies on pure stupidity and embarrassment to get people to enjoy it. Even Porky's did a better job at emulating the sex-hungry teens than this one. Enroll at this "Private School" at your own risk.
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