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|Index||18 reviews in total|
This is one of the better "coming of age" movies I have seen. It's about
immature young man who makes up his mind to go to college at Oxford (long
before he ever sees and falls for Amanda Pays) and then gets there. When
falls for Amanda's character and becomes a member of the Oxford rowing
he learns a lot about integrity and honor and just being a
I found this movie much more deeply thought provoking than just the simple surface comedy (BTW, I never thought it was a comedy) about a brash American in a foreign country. Lowe plays the character perfectly, as a street-wise, intelligent, middle class young man with a desire to improve his lot in life.
His membership on the Oxford Rowing Team provides an interesting and realistic setting for him to learn about being part of a community and making a contribution to his team. His relationship with Amanda's character is a good platform for watching him learn about the difference between brazen boldness and real culture.
Through a series of mishaps and missteps, he learns the value of character, integrity, and honor. His passage from adolescent immaturity to valued adult friend and teammate makes this an interesting movie from start to finish. This is a great character study.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really liked this movie when it was fresh. But that was 25 years ago.
And when it popped up online I had to watch it. Despite the years I was
surprised at the things I remembered from "No more second chances, no
more second chances" to "I think you're being paged, Lionel".
But that was 25 years ago. Now, the only redeeming value this movie has is a rather interesting perspective of Oxford. The plot premise is rather stupid: some kid from Las Vegas transfers to Oxford so he can date a Lady. He then acts like a complete bull in a china shop and for some reason manages to not so much win the heart of the Lady but at least get in her pants?? Bottomline, the characterizations are basically stereotypes, the plot is vapid, and he wins the race in the end. Oops! Spoiler!
OK, now that is has been several months since I watched this again following a 25 year hiatus, I can't get the movie out of my mind. I keep thinking about it. It has the same spell it had 25 years ago. Weird.
During his career Rob Lowe has been compared as the Brat Pack throwback
to some of the matinée idols of the Studio era. That comparison was
sealed when he did Oxford Blues a more suggestive remake of the MGM
classic A Yank At Oxford which did so well for Robert Taylor back in
The same basic plot is retained for Oxford Blues from the original film. Rob with a little help from computer hacker brother Chad in an unbilled part, gets himself a transfer from the University of Nevada to matriculate. Funds for the trip and the tuition is won at the Las Vegas crap tables. And Rob even gets a Ferrari, courtesy of divorcée Gail Strickland, most satisfied with the extras that Rob provides for her when he's not parking cars. Stuff back in the day MGM would not show with Robert Taylor.
If you thought Taylor was a fish out of water at Oxford back in the Thirties, he's nothing compared to Lowe here. Oxford is a place steeped in tradition and Lowe's casual attitude really irks a lot of people from head man Michael Gough on down.
Worse than that he's got a casual attitude towards his sport of rowing. There even in their suits and gowns, the rowers are the jocks that rule in that place.
Though there are certain things that don't change. When Lowe is challenged to a 'sconcing' contest, he knows what chugfest is all about.
Like in the original Rob's caught between two women, matriculating student Ally Sheedy, fellow brat packer from America and Lady Amanda Pays who's well known nobility who occasionally winds up on the gossip pages. She's got a fiancé in the person of Julian Sands, but that doesn't deter Lowe one bit.
Another good role in Oxford Blues is that of Julian Firth who plays Lowe's roommate and a person who is in some wonder of Lowe's casual American ways. Farther down the cast list in a minor part as another Oxford student is Cary Elwes who would be a movie name in a couple of years.
Like the previous film when MGM filmed A Yank At Oxford on location there, Oxford Blues is also filmed at Oxford and I must say the place doesn't look like it changed much in almost fifty years. Then again a place steeped in tradition like Oxford isn't expected to change. Not even for Rob Lowe.
As for Rob himself, he carries off the part of Nick DeAngelo in the best hero/heel tradition of that other matinée idol of yore, Tyrone Power.
This is a remake of the old "A Yank at Oxford," starring Robert Taylor and Maureen O'Sullivan. In the original, although Taylor's character was an overly-confident braggart, a lesson was learned because the guy really had a heart of gold and was able to sacrifice his own interests for those of others. He played a typical American idiot (i.e. the average college student) who comes into an environment of traditionalism and protocol, and adjusts to it. He was a well-rounded and sincere character whom the audience cared about. Lowe's characterization, however, was awful (I don't know if Lowe played it this way or if he was directed to play it this way). There is NO WAY anyone like this would be a student at Oxford. He was one-dimensional, obnoxious, and downright stupid. The entire movie just had the viewer wanting him to be hog-tied and thrown into the Thames, never to re-surface again, and to allow the other actors (especially Julian Firth and Julian Sands) to take over the film. Aside from Lowe's character, however, the other aspects of the movie are quite good, especially if you like the British university thing, and "Merry Olde England" in general.
This is an excellent film with fine acting throughout. While the initial plotline might be slightly unlikely, the interactions of the main character while at Oxford are the real point of the movie, despite his initial reason. It is interesting througout the movie with a variety of well-rounded characters. The movie is well balanced between the action and excitement of the competitive scenes with the drama and romance at the heart of the story.
I found this video in a garage sale about 6 years ago , and bought it
because it had was set in Oxford and starred Rob Lowe.
If you like any so called "BratPack" type of film from the 80's you should
try and get hold of a copy of Oxford Blues. Yes it is true that its not all
that well put together and some of the acting is a bit rough around the
edges, But I have never got bored of watching it.
The main thing I liked about it was it did have a story line, which a lot
films dont have. Watching Rob Lowe's character make his dreams come true by
winning the heart of Lady Victoria , Gets my vote!.
I like people with ambitions and thats probably why I liked this film. So
dont be put off by any negative comments, as I think its a classic 80's
film. I had better warn you that finding a copy could be a nightmare!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rob Lowe is a hot but obnoxious Oxford-bound student who wants to meet
a beautiful girl enrolled there and also row his way to a championship
if he has the time.
When wreck-less Rob gets his cute little red sports-car wedged between two stone walls at Oxford, it becomes in his best interest to redeem himself with the school, though he fails miserably by showing up late for classes and acting like a royal pain in the butt. It seems Rob will decide to behave and row as long as his crew-mates let him wear his black leather jacket so he can stand out above everyone else.
Amanda Pays and Ally Sheedy co-star in this remake of 'A Yank at Oxford'.
Yes, I know this is not a fantastic movie. My 7 out of 10 is more
nostalgic than actual story-driven.
Rob Lowe acts like a bull in a china shop at all times in this story. The entire movie he moves from con artist to rowing prodigy to sexual dynamo to demigod status -- all while carrying the "ugly American" thing quite too far. And I'm American. Embarrassing would be a better word I think. Kinda sets a negative tone that stays the entire movie. Yet... I was spellbound by this movie in the theater in 1984 (saw it twice actually) and am still in love. :-) I'm sure it is due to the gorgeous cinematography and stunning on-location sequences at Cambridge. The rest of the cast (with the exception of Ally Sheedy, whom I've never gotten the hang of despite people oohing and awing over her) is simply perfectly British upper-crust snootiness with the right amount of classy condescension toward that crazy Yank. The movie just feels so British lovely - with an uber-caveman running amok. I love it. I can't watch it enough actually. It's one of my top guilty pleasures actually.
Don't get me wrong. Rob Lowe isn't a complete waste. His swagger and brashness is somewhat necessary, but he just comes across as TOO cool and TOO narcissistic as he barrels toward the inevitable bedding of our fair maiden, played by the heavenly Amanda Pays. Lowe just runs over wonderful characters at every turn to get everything HE desires at the expense of anyone/any institution standing in his way. BUT... with that aside, the movie is really enjoyable. It's like enjoying the magical "Peggy Sue Got Married" despite the awful presence of Nick Cage. Sometimes you've got to look past one major issue to get to the soft, lovable, special movie lurking beneath the ego of the lead.
I love this movie. I'll always love this movie. Watch it if you love Great Britain. Watch it if you love Cambridge. Watch it if you enjoy rowing. Watch it if you were (are?) still in love with Amanda Pays. And watch it for the simple chance to see Rob Lowe do one of the funnier "switcheroo" wardrobe changes set to music in the mirror during the end credits. Classic cheese that I would recommend for anyone looking for silly '80s goofiness!
Before seeing it, you might paint this movie off as another sex comedy or typical Rob Lowe comedy. I first saw this film in early 2012, 26 years after it's release, and honestly, I could of kicked myself for not seeing it sooner. This movie is more than what you expect, as you think it's just gonna be another comedy, where Rob Lowe is just gonna take the mickey out of this fraternity, what have you but boy, I was blindsided. Lowe plays a sexy selfish hustler, Nick D' Angelo, who cons his way into Oxford, as falling head over heels, with the beautiful Pays, who has proved herself to be a really good actress. Her character, Lady Victoria, is to wed, fine upstanding scholar (Julian Sands) who of course, envious Lowe rages war with. He makes friends with a young nerdy student, a familiar Scum face from years back, and another American girl, Sheedy, who of course, falls for the rejecting Lowe. Lowe is fun to watch, where it's his character which sells the movie, as he really learn's life's hard lessons, that it's give and take, and by the end, becomes a much better person. Why it's not Lowe's best performance, where some will find him inadequate, he does give the character enough clout and pep, and does make us acknowledge, deep down, he's not a happy and fulfilled guy, and Pays is the answer to his problems, his void. With Sheedy's character, I thought she was quite good, but where she fitted into the film, seemed as just some actress that was tagging or wasn't utilized properly in this. Better performances came from Bruce Payne who invites Nick, a fantastic rower onto the rowing team, after an impressive and ballsy move, where too Cary Elwes was hardly recognizable, and using an English accent, I could not believe this very versatile actor was him, as he plays a nasty pasty, and not one of Lowe's favorite admirers. Michael Gough, and Alan Howard (The Cook, The Thief) and some more of the faculty players, give the best performances, the late Gough, a splendid English actor, of course shining, while Howard was really good too. Peter "May'be you prefer a Black Russian?" Jason, with a meagre, if almost non existent part, at the start, as Lowe's father, was very memorable. I cannot believe this has a 5.2 rating. I've seen the movie a couple of times, and I love it, every time, I see it. It's more than just a Brat Pack, teen, "get your pants off" comedy, and this film may very well surprise you. It deserves higher praise, and warrants definite viewing. Go Oxford.
Nick De Angelo (Rob Lowe) is a self-possessed valet in Las Vegas. With
the help of an older woman and a lucky night in the casino, he gets
enough money to chase after Lady Victoria Wingate (Amanda Pays) in
Oxford. He gets accepted at Oriel College but Victoria is already
involved with rower Colin Gilchrist Fisher (Julian Sands). The rowers
are at the top of the social hierarchy. The brash Nick steals a boat
and leaps into a race coming in second to Colin. Nick joins a team
coxed by Jersey girl Rona (Ally Sheedy).
Brash Nick is fun and compelling. However, he goes overboard at times like when he first meets Rona. She doesn't deserve it and it makes him look like a bully. I love Rob Lowe but Nick can be off-putting at times. Some of the British villains are too cartoonish. The worst part is that Amanda Pays is too much of an ice queen. It's one of her early roles and she is terribly stiff. It would have been a better rom-com if Nick goes off with Rona instead. Rob Lowe has plenty of charisma but that isn't enough to save this.
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