|Index||5 reviews in total|
Lately I've found myself watching Canadian teenage comedies of the 80s
and like another user had already mentioned; Isabelle Mejias was the
main draw-card for digging this one up. Fans of the a glowing Mejias
won't be disappointed, but others will find it nothing more than
slightly amusing in a quirky sense, but still a cut and dry teen
romantic comedy drama set on campus.
Andy Cooper is a small town country boy who leaves home for college to fulfil his artistic talent. There he finds out his room-mate is an eccentrically wealthy "ladies' man" (well that's what he likes to think) Dean and also encountering more oddities, but soon he's attracted to his fellow art student in Carrie Hanson. Not too long they're an item, but things kind of go pear shape when she leaves to see her parents for thanksgiving as Andy within that time falls to the seductive advances of his French art teacher. Carrie returns, but Andy can't let go of the affair and what progresses leaves Andy with some hard, but important decisions to make.
The story is quite bright and breezy (the first hour or so with its quickly witty dialogues and familiar antics well-timed) and then when the three-way love triangle forms. Is where the tone becomes unsure, as it gets bogged down (after introducing an array of rich characters coming and going --- fun performances from Jennifer Inch and Emmanuel Mark) and loses its way by taking a upon a more serious approach (finding your feet, making the right choices and sacrifice for love), even though the humour is there if only in a slight manner thanks mainly to the performance of Maury Chaykin as a softly spoken mob hit-man. Throughout there's plenty of sequences where the buoyant soundtrack gets a work out, by accompanying some sort of montage. Yep that's right a scrapbook of montages. The performances fair up; Mejias has that down-to-earth charisma while opposite of her Kevin Hicks is quite good. A stunning Lori Hallier is every itch-perfect as the French art teacher Nicole Hubert (which the camera seems to gracefully frame) and Stephen Black is suitably cocky as Dean. While small-scale the production it's professionally catered for and comes up looking quite good.
In this basic but likable Canadian comedy, Kevin Hicks gives a great
performance as Andy Cooper, a College freshman who has lived a rather
sheltered existence in a small country town and finds it hard to adapt
to the discrimination, aggressiveness, drugs, and sexual freedom
associated with life in a big city art college. The acting support from
the rest of the cast is also of a fairly high standard. Although this
is an overworked comedy theme, it is played out quite effectively here,
and this film has much more appeal for a mature audience than many
other college life comedies, which too often fall into the generic
class of 'skinflicks'. Since VHS copies of HE are becoming hard to find
and cable TV showings are quite infrequent, the distributors
responsible must be considering releasing a DVD version. The film is
far from faultless but it provides some quite stimulating viewing and
would make a better DVD than many other comedies from the same era
which have already been so released.
I have rated HE at 6 stars, but with some reservations. The audio reproduction from my VHS tape (which was distributed through Norstar) is very poor, and being a little deaf I found difficulty in keeping up with the nuances of the story. A disk copy should cure this, but unfortunately might be found to provide little or no real improvement. Should a DVD release of HE appear I would probably buy it; but when DVD's of older films may be no better than tape copies, consumers like myself now replace sub-standard tapes only if they can be sure their replacement DVD has been re-mastered to provide the higher standards (both video and audio) which they expect. The marketing of unedited and unimproved disk copies of distributors master tapes as DVD's has seriously discredited the DVD format and, with these comments on HE, I am begging all DVD distributors to introduce some sort of guide from which the artistic, video and audio quality of all newly released DVD's can be assessed. Rating information is part of this as MPAA mandated changes often lead to the contents of a film varying significantly from the Director's intentions (encouraging consumers to look for an unrated or "Directors cut" version). But a technical quality rating is also required to provide potential buyers with other critically important information. A purchaser is responsible for selecting his movie on its artistic and other merits, but he cannot be asked to be responsible for its technical quality as well. This remains the responsibility of the distributor; and, particularly when an old classic is first being offered in DVD format, there is a real need to let the purchaser know exactly what quality product the distributor can offer.
HE was a well made and enjoyable comedy which I believe still has a significant appeal, although the inclusion of the sequences relating to the gangster seemed to me to be not only out of place but quite unnecessary. In fairness however this was one minor aspect of the story that I found particularly difficult to follow on my tape. Whilst I believe this is a film which would justify continued availability for home viewing, the videotape which is currently listed is of such poor quality that I cannot recommend its purchase. A reworked copy of this film, offering much better quality audio, should be made available in DVD format.
Surprisingly, this Canadian comedy isn't bad, thanks largely to a talented cast, many of whom have been in some solid films. Unfortunately, things get too formulaic, and the journey towards the inevitable happy conclusion gets to be a little slow. There is some good writing here, and there are more than a few funny parts, but these moments are attached to a VERY conventional script overall. It's okay, and a little better than I had expected, but it's still nothing worthwhile.
I found this on ebay a few years back due to Isabelle Mejias having a starring role in it. It was just okay. The clothes that she wore in this were hideous, but I'll forgive her, seeing how this was made in the late 80's. But for some reason when I saw her all dressed up in red and yellow I found myself wanting a McDonalds cheeseburger. Hmm. Anyway, I was also happy to see another actress from Heavy Metal Summer in this. Don't know her name though. My opinion is that this is way too Canadian for me. Releasing it on DVD really wouldn't be a good move. Why waste the plastic on this when they could be releasing other Isabelle Mejias movies on DVD?
The movie describes the lives of several college students, and deals with interracial and intersexual relationships. It is a sharp criticism of the hidden discrimination and racial hatred which remain despite the legal equality between the races and sexes. Although altogether successful, the movie tends to push its message to the viewer in a strong and rather harsh way, and this reduces its effectiveness.
|Ratings||External reviews||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|