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I've noticed many a red blooded lad has made mention of how lovely the
ever-so-lovely Jennifer Connelly is in what may be the worlds most amazing
white tank top. Some have also mentioned the exestintial bliss of watching
her rocking back and forth atop the luckiest dime-store mechanical horse
ever constructed. And believe me when I say bravo to you all, all you men
(and possibly ladies?) of good taste. For these are great images indeed in
what turns out to be a very very funny little flick (to this day I still
refer to TARGET as JIMGET).
However, it is the awe inspiring sight of watching the absolutely stunning Miss (sadly Mrs.) Connelly moving with absolute grace and beauty through TARGET's open isles on a pair of classic style roller skates.
I remember having the good fortune of seeing "Career Oppotunities" when it played in the theaters (damn, that tank top looked good on that 50 foot high screen). I already had the world's biggest crush on Connelly since I first saw her in "Labyrinth" back in the Summer of '86. So seeing her "all grown up" in films like "The Hot Spot" and "Rocketeer" was like Heaven. But best of all, I had the good fortune of having a laser disc player back in the early 90's. And on one very lucky B-Day, I was given a widescreen LD copy of "Career Opportunites". I gotta tell ya, as good as the whole movie was, on side two of the album sized discus was a scene that bordered on the very edge of Nirvana itself: Jennifer Connelly on skates. Mmmmm mmmm good. It was my absolute fav moment from when I saw it in the theater. I can imagine getting the rythme and pattern of their choreography was probobly a nightmare for Frank Whaley and Connelly, but honest to God, they look like they are having a total blast. And the more fun it looked for them, the more amazing she looked in a state of perpetual motion that can only be described as stunning. *Mmmmmm, Jennifer Connelly* spoken in Homer Simpson like voice.
It's funny. I haven't watched this film in quite sometime (my old LD player she don't play so well no mo'). And after having read some of these wonderful reviews and typing out this testimonial to the beauty and grace of a young Jennifer Connelly, I may have to track down a nice new copy of it on DVD. It's just too bad the local TARGET doesn't have it in stock. The irony alone would be worth it. Well, that and our lovely Miss Connelly, of course. ;)
Long live JIMGET!!!
I get such a kick out of all the comments that mention how beautiful Jennifer Connelly is. Basically because in this movie that's all Josie's ever heard... how she's such a great piece of a$$ ("the town tease"), and the redundancy of these comments she's encountered up to now has her almost proud of that fact. "... I never tease..." But the truth is, nobody cares who she is as a person (including you the viewer), and that kills her. Those that have criticized and commented on the movie are actually characters IN the movie. As we comment on how beautiful Connelly is, we in turn become a part of Josie's past, and we are responsible for who she is now. Add the issues of her father, who only threatens her (and the cop) with abuse and attempts of control. Josie is physically beautiful, but that is her main problem. She's a really f'ed up chick. She is a temporary trophy, until something better comes along. And being that negative attention is better than no attention at all, you can understand what brought her to the store in the first place. When Jim tells Josie of his dream of her, she instantly thinks "sex"... cause up until this point in her life, that all she has to offer anyone. She is instantly caught off guard when Jim suggests a simple dance, one that he's been dreaming of since the 7th grade. And of all the people Josie has ever been with, Jim is the first gentleman she's ever met. And for the first time in both of their lives, a true connection is made. Yes, the Home Alone skits are below average, but for me, the problem is that they take away from the connection that the two leads are making. The best part of this whole movie is the unspoken dialogue between Connelly and Whaley, as they tried desperately to comfort each other in this time of chaos. Whaley has most of the creative dialogue, but Connelly's character is the one of interest (and issues). This is a much more psychological romance than most give it credit for.
Okay, so this one never did (and never will) win any awards. But pound for pound, John Hughes was never better and never will be again, most likely. Yes, I know, I know. "Ferris B." is a more coherent, cohesive film. And "Breakfast Club" has all the lines. And "Pretty in Pink" has all the pathos, plus Ducky. But this one's got Jim Dodge (F. Whaley). Easily one of my favorite film creations ever. You can't not love this guy. Even in the usually dumb montages that plagues MTV-ish films of this nature, he's charming (wearing a veil and cow-boxers and rollerskating, for instance). And then there's Jennifer "Eternally Easy on the Eyes" Connelly who, yes, has her usual charms (both of them), but who manages to bring a degree of wit, grace and sincerity to the "girl next door anyone would die to get with" role that's rarely been matched since. This film's full of terrific lines and memorable moments. Jim's "Jimget" fantasy. John Candy's entire cameo. "Could I get this uniform washed, it...smells a little like Darnell." "You mean you've never heard of sashimi?" "The subsonic tummy bump..." The list is endless. The bad part: yes, the last 15 or so minutes are plagued by a lack of money and a lack of laughs (money as in it looks like they ran out and decided to end the film...now). But the two leads are terrific together and the idea of them hashing out their high school trials and tribs in this particular setting is quite effective, really. Sweet, simple, goofy and funny, this one deserves another look, despite the "run out of steam in the last stretch of the race" factor.
Frank Whaley plays Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley), a thoroughly annoying
smart-mouthed wise-ass waste-of-space with a dead end job as a night
janitor in a supermarket. Jennifer Connelly plays Josie McClellan
(Jennifer Connelly), a poor little rich girl desperate to get away from
her millionaire daddy (who beats her). When Josie chickens out of
shoplifting at the last minute, she is locked in the shop for the night
and meets Jim (as he roller-skates down an aisle in his boxers and a
wedding veil!). Together they do a bit of collective soul-searching,
swap sob stories and decide to run away together. However, their plans
are interrupted somewhat when a couple of gun wielding thieves break
into the store...
Despite being written by top teen-movie maker John Hughes and featuring a pretty decent cast (John Candy has a cameo and the two leads are both capable actors), Career Opportunities (AKA One Wild Night), is a rather weak comedy with irritating characters and very few laughs.
I, like most males who have reviewed this movie on IMDb, do agree, however, that it is worth viewing if you are a fan of Jennifer Connelly and her very impressive curves. The delectable JC looks stunning in a tight white vest and standout scenes include her rollerskating through the shop, and rocking slowly back and forth on a supermarket horse ride (a moment guaranteed to raise the blood pressure of all heterosexual men).
But of course, Ms. Connelly looking damn fine doesn't make this a great piece of film-making (just great eye-candy), and ultimately this is a rather desperate 'comedy' that comes nowhere near to the matching the quality of Hughes' 80s output.
Yea, I know this movie was not that good and the formula was well-worn but it was fun to watch for 2 reasons. Jennifer Connelly and the clothes and music. Jennifer was a heart-stopper as usual! I really couldn't see her attraction to Frank Whaley's character because he just seemed to dweebish!(80's term) I could see her more with the dark-haired thieve. But it did give the fantasy of the nerd getting the pretty girl some hope! All in all, it was a movie that was caught between eras! The years 1990-91 were sort of lost years where no one seemed to know what was next. Music was changing from the rock of the big hair style of Poison and GNR to the alternative sound of REM and none of the music in the movie sounded like neither. It was an experimental sound. The clothes seemed like the 80's but were trying to be something different. Of course we know what was on the horizon..Grunge! But this movie was the end of an era. It was released in 1991 but was probably made a year before that. It's one of those movies you will watch if you were a 20 something in the 80's and feel a nostalgic pang. I get it watching movies like Back to the Future and Breakfast Club, St; Elmos Fire..etc. So don't judge this flick to harshly. It's just filler but it does taste good! Especially Jennifer Connelly!
"Career Opportunities" is not only one of the finest films of
Last Great Golden Age Of American Cinema--the early 1990s, specifically,
1991 ("Another You", "For The Boys", "Highlander 2: The Quickening"--do I
have to list more?), it might just one day revered as the "O Lucky Man" of
the post-Reagan "grunge" era. A surrealist, even MAGICAL REALIST
parable/satire on American Consumerism and our collective enslavement to
petty bourgeois dreams of success, with a touch of "La Dolce Vita" tossed
for added subtext, with the lovely OSCAR-NOMINATED Connelly as Anita
representing the impossible female ideal that will remain forever out of
reach until our
hero, Whalley's milquetoast Candide, renounces the evils of
Connelly's ride atop a coin-operated pony is Hughes' nod to Sylvia's romp
through the fountain in Rome, and his oft-misunderstood casting of the
Mulroneys are a post-modern riff on Fellini's Virgin Mary thread, although
instead, the brothers embody a different Biblical allusion--to that of the
parable of Cain and Abel. Sigh--I'll be
defending this one until the end of my autumn years.
But oh, that white tank top...
The phrase "Jennifer Connelly Wow" can be found all over the internet. Hollywood had never seen the likes of Jennifer Connelly before. She is an incredible beauty. I write this 18 years after this movie came out and she still is the hottest woman in Hollywood.
There are favorite scenes of Jennifer - The roller skating scene and the rocking horse scenes are near the top for most guys and they are all over Youtube.
Jennifer can really distract a guy from seeing what takes place in this movie. The first 20 times I saw this, I had the following questions:
1) Does Josey McClelland (Jennifer Connelly) really like Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley)?
2) Since Jim Dodge is considered the town liar and can not seem to hold a job, what does Josey McClelland see in Jim Dodge? What kind of future could she possibly see with Jim Dodge?
3) If Josey likes Jim so much, why does she leave him in the store and drive off, when she steals the crooks' stolen car? Consider, Josey left Jim locked in a store with two angry criminals that subsequently began to look for him with loaded guns.
Answers - Well the answers are demonstrated and shown by where the movie winds up.
1) Yes - Definitely!
2) She sees that he is honest with her, except for not admitting to himself as well as her, that he does not want to live at home, and he is misunderstood by everyone in this little town including his parents, and everyone sees that Jim is doing something but they call it lying. But Josey has a similar talent and therefore, understands what Jim is good at, and where they need to go to take advantage of their talents.
3) She knows that those two stupid crooks have easily fallen for Jim's lies and acting previously - They are in no way a match for the talents of Jim Dodge.
Consider the fantasy (from the leading male or Jim Dodge prospective) that those answers prove out: The sexiest woman comes into your store and is locked in with you for the night. The incredible beauty falls for you, big time, and she sees something about you that no one in this town ever saw. She knows that you are better than any problems that might come along, much better. Because she shares this talent with you The talent she sees in you has been on display for everyone to look at and you even have a nickname pointing to it, and somehow no one ever looked at the positives related to it, except her.
Then you give her a point blank demonstration your talent, showing how you can convince two killers by talking into a radio that you picked off the Target shelf and then talking into some little red book, that they are surrounded by men with guns trained on them. This makes her jump for joy, literally.
She knows the answer that you don't. The answer she forces you to see, move! You are lying to yourself in thinking you like living at home.
Get out of your parents house and get away from this little town and find a place that people appreciate the fact that you are the world's greatest "liar". someone who can easily and naturally make people believe something you are pretending to be.
You are therefore, a super talented ACTOR!
You go through the town in one last view of it with her than without even saying goodbye, you move out of your parents house and together with her you go to (you guessed it, the place where actors go)
Hollywood, California, where the story ends up.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The first hour of this movie is so enjoyable. Frank Whaley, who also ruled
in Swimming With Sharks, is hilarious as the loser who constantly makes up
stories to try to make people believe he's important and actually has a
life. What makes it work is that Whaley is sharp and a quick thinker, so
he's successful to a point before it all comes crumbling down. The best
example of this is the classic scene where he tries to get a high profile
job at Target from John Candy. It's even better than the scene in
Trainspotting where the junkie shoots up before he goes for the job
interview (of course, as a whole that's a much better film). When it
backfires and he has to settle for the prestigious job of overnight
William Forsythe has him wearing the dirty uniform of the loser who
previously held that position, Darrell, promising that he'll give him a
name patch if it by some chance works out.
In contrast to Whaley, who has been crapped on all his life, we have Jennifer Connelly as the woman who seemingly has it all. She's the most beautiful woman in this town, or any other for that matter, and she's filthy rich. What people don't know though is that High school was the highlight of her life, and now she's going through life aimlessly under the dictation of her abusive, controlling father. She occasionally has the guts to do something to get back at him. For instance, the great scene where her father tries to introduce her to his business associates so she takes her coat off in a seductive manner, goes over and kisses one on the lips, and then when the other puckers up expecting the highlight of his life, she offers him a handshake instead. The film really goes out of it's way to emphasize how gorgeous she is, but she follows up her strong performance in The Hot Spot by once again proving she's a lot more than just a pretty face. It's not a role that requires great depth or range, but even when she's saying or doing the opposite she has the grace and ability to convey what she wants without appearing to try. Also, although this is more something she's honed as the years have gone on, there's always an added feel to her dialogue because of her physical acting (something that seems to only be mentioned when done by the crooked nose types) and her paused delivery.
The bulk of the movie takes place in Target, with the stores goods being exploited for all the fun and silliness they are worth. Whaley is locked in because no first nighter gets a key, and apparently nobody checked the dressing rooms, where Connelly fell asleep debating whether she should get caught shoplifting to piss her dad off. They exchange a lot of great and extremely well delivered dialogue, with Connelly admitting how miserable her life is and backing Whaley into enough corners that he has to do the same. This part moves way too fast. Connelly went to school with Whaley her whole life, but never gave him the time of day since she was in and he wasn't. Within a few hours, knowing what any guy would most want to do with her, she still offers to grant him any wish to make up for how badly she's treated him over the years. Not only that, she's willing to use her $52,000 that she for some reason carries around in her purse so they can go away and start a new life together. Their chemistry is good and I realize everything had to happen before the store was unlocked the next morning, but the rest of the movie should have been devoted to getting to the point where them falling in love and going away together was `believable.' Unfortunately, the whole mood and tone of the movie changes for the very worst when the Mulroney brothers show up to rob the store.
The Mulroneys aren't as bumbling as the crooks in Home Alone, but there's nothing remotely funny about them and their presence in the movie is totally unnecessary. Whaley & Connelly try to outsmart them, but the outcome is never in doubt since the brothers are portrayed as the epitome of village idiots. Part of me loves the scene where Connelly rides the rocking horse to seduce Dermot, but this is the highlight of the whole portion and it still really added nothing to the movie. This whole section dumps the movie down with silly bumbling idiot and implied PG-13 sex gags. It not only provides far fewer laughs and removes the sweetness and cuteness of the story, but it fails to advance the plot in any way. It's such nonsense that the movie would actually be better if there were 20 minutes of commercials after the first hour and then they came back for the last few minutes.
The movie is not believable, but it doesn't try to be. Its purpose is to give hope to people who, whether they'll admit it or not, aren't in a good situation. It succeeds in doing this, and provides a lot of laughs along the way. It's probably better upon subsequent viewings because the comedy isn't based on jokes that are only funny once and you've already been so outraged by the Mulroney section that you either fast forward, turn the channel, or hang in there just to drool over Jennifer. Add this to the list of films that should have been great, but were undermined by the nonsensical nature of part of the script. 6/10
A very well done, humorous teenage love story that every "not so popular" guy who was passed over in high school can appreciate. Funny, awkward, and lighthearted, this movie has something for everyone. This was the first movie I saw Jennifer Connelly in and just like the main character, immediately fell in love with her. What an outstanding actress, although this is perhaps not her best performance. All together this is a great "Order in on Saturday night and have a few laughs with the wife/girlfriend" kind of feel good romantic romp.
The movie's greatest feature is it captures, admittedly to a lesser extent, the angst and anxiety of adolescence. Hughes does this by coming from oppositional poles (poor working class and rich pampered daughter). The movie's brevity makes it move well; it features two great cameos that are worth the viewing alone. Candy as the manager who thinks he is interviewing an 'operations manager' with Whaley adopting the 'boys' club' argot of brainless white collar management chit chat. Candy does so well here, watch it evaporate when he discovers he is interviewing the night cleanup boy. For me, William Forsythe may have a short role but he is drop dead funny. My header is spoken when he asks Whaley if he is a slacker at the point of a shotgun. Connoly is stunning to stare at, she looks even better than she did in the Rocketeer. Hughes' motif is the same as Breakfast Club, that however different adolescents are, they all share the commonality of oppressive expectations and ways of life their parents are putting before them. The best scenes in this short movie are when the two are sharing their unhappy lives. Whaley represses his unhappiness insisting he adores living at home. As the movie progresses, both of these quite different people learn to take an insight from the other. The robbery is quite background, Hughes uses it for more deepening of the characters.
Yes, detractors, it is admittedly a lesser work of his but far above Curly Sue or Dutch. Whaley's character is the town liar who is spouting an incessant stream of consciousness prattle about how he really is quite important. She helps him to see how full of crap he is and how he is hiding from making the important choices of life. The entire movie takes place inside a Target store at night; be warned, get ready for some serious product placement with the camera lingering upon the brand names. I always thought the movie was entertaining but it bombed because the resolving of the pain of choice theme was not presented as saliently as in Breakfast Club. The essence of the movie is like a much better movie this imitates: Heaven Knows Mr. Allison. The same two incredibly different people learning that they share the burdens of existence and finding their existential consanguinity. No, detractors, there are few drop dead funny moments with the glaring exception of the aforementioned William Forsythe NRA supervisor orientation lecture (I fired the last lazy ass). Yet, the dialog is consistently witty with plenty of good by-play as she helps him come out of this protective B.S. bubble he has wrapped around himself. The point of the robbery parallels Weird Science, both are 'make a man' moments of 'gear realization.'
It is quite short with a interesting, cute study taking us all back to those horribly painful years of not knowing what was ahead out there for us. This movie is easy to help you with, you will like it contingent upon how much you enjoyed The Breakfast Club. At its heart, this movie has the same thematic core: the walking through the door of childhood into adulthood with realistic anxiety and fear about the consequences of choosing incorrectly. It is like Allison because these two opposite people discover their commonalities that unite all human beings: the problem of existence. Yes, it is a lesser work of Hughes but I still place it far above Weird Science. It is quite down to earth without that movie's bizarre leaps into deep fantasy. I recommend it to you because, after a hard day, it will take you back to those horrible years of adolescence and cheer you right up. Trust me, for most of us, those were the worst years of our lives. If you get bored, do what I do, stare at gorgeous Connolly. It resonates because despite our superficial differences, the riddle of our path is before every one of us. Not That Bad Of A Movie. Q.E.D.
"Everything Has Been Figured Out Except How To Live." Jean Paul Sartre
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