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The Sure Thing (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 March 1985 (USA)
A college student plans a cross-country trip to get laid, but ends up traveling with a young woman. They hate each other, so naturally...



(as Steven L. Bloom),

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter 'Gib' Gibson
Gary Cooper
Mary Ann Webster
Professor Taub
The Sure Thing
Marcia Christie ...
Robert Anthony Marcucci ...
Lorrie Lightle ...
Joshua Cadman ...
Krystal Richards ...
Girl in Photo


College freshman Walter (Gib) Gibson decides to go cross country to visit his friend in California during winter break. Awaiting there is a bikini-clad babe whom his friend assures him is a "sure thing". Meanwhile, Allison, a cute (but somewhat retentive) girl at Gib's college has also decided to head out to Cal. to see her boyfriend during break. Gib and Allison are thrust together on a road trip from hell, and somewhere along the way, they find each others company to be tolerable. Now, what will become of Gib's "sure thing?" Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A sure thing comes once in a lifetime... but the real thing lasts forever. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Volltreffer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)


$18,136,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both John Putch (Mastin) and Boyd Gaines (Jason) were semi-regular characters on One Day at a Time (1975). Putch played Bob Morton who pined for Barbara Cooper (Valerie Bertinelli) in earlier episodes, and Gaines played Mark Royer who would later play Barbara's husband in later episodes. See more »


When Gib teaches Alison to shotgun a beer his pants become soaked with beer but when he leaves the room they are completely dry. See more »


Gib: How's this for an opening line: "Did you know that Nietzsche died of syphilis?"
Jimbo: How do you spell zucchini?
Gib: Z-u-c-h-i-n-i. No, Nietzsche's too obscure. Umm... how about: "Did you know that Shakespeare died of syphilis?" No, she probably knows that isn't true. I don't know what to say.
See more »


References This Is Spinal Tap (1984) See more »


Lights Out
Written by Peter Wolf and Don Covay
Performed by Peter Wolf
Courtesy of EMI America Records
Published by Pal-Park Music and Ze'ev Music
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User Reviews

After A Weak Start This Turns Surprisingly Enjoyable
19 October 2009 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

For the first half hour or so this movie comes across as little more than a typically sophomoric and lame comedy about a guy who's looking for action with a girl - and it wasn't even outrageous enough to be truly funny. Gib (John Cusack) has just graduated from high school and gone on to an unnamed Ivy League school. He's frustrated by his lack of success with girls, and by his inability to get the attention of his classmate Alison (Daphne Zuniga.) Then out of the blue he gets invited by an old high school buddy to come to California for Christmas where his buddy will set him up with a "sure thing." To that point there was nothing particularly special about this movie, nothing noteworthy, nothing even especially humorous. But then, the road trip begins, and somehow it all begins to fit together.

True - you see the end coming almost from the beginning. Gib and Alison have to end up together. That's the whole point of a movie like this. The question is going to be how they end up together. And that actually became a very enjoyable and at times funny story. It turns out that Alison is also going to California for the holidays to visit her boyfriend, and against their wills they end up having to travel together and through a series of misadventures they fall for each other. In fact, I think one of the truly "sweetest" scenes I've ever come across in a movie is the scene in which Alison and Gib wake up with him holding her in his arms after they innocently shared a bed on the trip. She knows that this is innocent, that nothing happened, and simply enjoys the feeling of being held; he wakes up and immediately starts to assure her that nothing happened, that he hadn't tried anything. In a way that was the central scene of the movie, as their feelings for each other are defined at that moment.

In addition to an enjoyable story, I thought this was also notable for a look at some fairly well known performers early in their career. Here, I think especially of Anthony Edwards and Nicolette Sheridan. In all honesty, both were unrecognizable as, respectively, Gib's high school buddy Lance and the "sure thing" Lance has set Gib up with in California. Edwards was quite good in the role, while Sheridan didn't have a lot to do except look hot - and she pulled that off quite well!

Overall, this is predictable, it's formulaic, it's altogether unoriginal - and in spite of all that, this movie really does grow on you, in the same way that Gib and Alison grow on each other. The development of their feelings for each other really is fun to watch, and you really do feel a sense of satisfaction as their kiss at the end of the movie signifies that they've arrived at the destination fate intended for them.

This is a fun movie to spend some time with. 6/10

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