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The Pick-up Artist (1987)

5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 4,063 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 10 critic

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

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Title: The Pick-up Artist (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Randy Jensen
...
Jack Jericho (as Robert Downey)
...
...
Phil Harper
...
Nellie
...
Alonzo Scolara
Brian Hamill ...
Mike
Tamara Bruno ...
Karen
...
Rae, Girl with Dog
Angie Kempf ...
Jack's Student
...
Pat, Jack's Colleague
...
Richie (as Frederick Koehler)
...
Stan
Victoria Jackson ...
Lulu
...
Carla
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Storyline

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Pick-Up Artist... has finally met his match.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cazachicas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,290,368 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture opened at the No. #5 rank at the American box-office in the USA. See more »

Goofs

During the most of the movie, Randy wears a blouse is buttoned up to the neck and a necklace over the top of it. Except for the scene where she is exiting the casino after her big loss, as she walks out and her blouse is unbuttoned at the neck and she is not wearing the necklace. However, in the next scene the blouse is buttoned again and necklace returns. The description of an apparent discontinuity is accurate; however, in the shot with open blouse and sans necklace, Randy is also not wearing her jacket. In the following shot, as she emerges from the casino with Jack after her devastating setback, she has donned her jacket, buttoned her blouse, and restored her necklace. The apparent costume discontinuity dissolves in the brief lapse of unrecorded time. See more »

Quotes

Jack Jericho: Being with you isn't a gamble, you can only gamble when you have a choice. I wanna be with you forever, and I don't have a choice about that, maybe I don't have a prayer in the world, but that's not a gamble. Maybe what I feel is not good for you, or for me but I'm not gonna stand here and listen to you tell me it's a bad habit.
See more »

Connections

References Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Susie Darlin'
Written and Performed by Robin Luke
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a romantic comedy that's conventional but convincing and likable and sometimes very funny
7 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What people were expecting from The Pick-up Artist I'm not sure. It is not a terribly original film, despite what personal attachment James Toback brings to the material as a filmmaker (it's been said he was basically writing Jack on his own experiences picking up girls), but it does work as entertainment within its parameters. We want to see this Jack Jericho, a lady's man who will go after any girl that's on the street or walking out of a shop, wise up and we know that he will when he finds the girl who will meet his match by not giving her number to him. This happens with Randy, who 'hooks up' with him but leaves it at that ("The phone number would mean the future," she says), and it just eggs him on to go after her - which is trouble, since she's in one of those I-owe-the-mob-such-and-such-money situations, which Jack rises to the occasion.

If you have seen one you may have seen another, or another. It's part screwball farce and part a on-the-surface 80's John Hughes teen comedy (how old Jack is is hard to say, though likely not much older than nineteen year old Randy), but there's something else that makes it interesting. The way Toback shoots and writes the movie, one might think some of the moves and mannerisms, and how he moves and is seen in New York City, may resemble a Woody Allen movie, or, to be further with a comparison, a French New Wave movie (look at Robert Downey Jr and tell me Jack Jericho couldn't be played by Jean-Paul Belmondo circa 1960). It's writing is based on formula- we know how Randy's conflict will be resolved, if not quite how Jack and Randy will turn out together- but it's sharp dialog and some actual wit, lines that let us know these characters are thinking and on their toes, that rises above the expectation.

Another thing is Downey Jr. Like with Toback's 1997 film Two Girls and a Guy, he adds another notch to the material as a likable sleaze (this time more likable than in 'Two Girls', after all in this film Jack lives and takes care with his grandmother). He isn't just another cocky ass, but a determined player who is given humanity and depth by RDJ. Ringwald fares almost as well, though it's hard to say if even at her best she's anywhere near the power of her male co-star; mostly she just reacts to things he says, or at one point does have a convincing crying fit after losing some money. Other supporting actors like Harvey Keitel, Dennis Hopper and Danny Aiello are wonderful to see, even if they're given characters that have a lot less depth than Jack and Randy. They're mostly set-pieces in the plot, but at least the actors have fun playing hard-nosed-mobster/drunk/concerned-friend respectively.

This isn't a romantic comedy to rush out to see, and it certainly isn't anywhere in a high pantheon of screwball farces or in league with his New-Wave influences. But it's a short trip that hasn't aged too badly thanks to the on-screen charisma of its leads and some nifty 60's rock music put to the scenes. It's almost, dare I say it, underrated in Toback's oeuvre.


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