Every scene in which "Henry" is in was filmed on location at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. The producers had to change the name of the school in the film to "Acadia High School" so they didn't have to pay as much money to the city of Arcadia. See more »
When the students nominate people for class president, Jerry is shown wearing a red bowtie. However, he does not receive the bowtie until several scenes later, when he is disguised as an ice cream man. See more »
Oh, so what's Foster now, Amish? How nice for him. Someday he'll be able to grow a beard and it'll all make sense.
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Like an early Tim Burton flick with Robin Williams' evil twin
Imagine a very early Tim Burton flick, before Beetlejuice, before Peewee, and cast a subdued Robin Williams in the role of Jerry the lesser demon, make it a high school teencom, and maybe you'll have an idea what this movie is like.
Highlights include: creative visuals without flashy FX (I love the depiction of Hell as an office sweatshop, not unlike a few where I've worked before), excellent acting by the teen stars, and a particularly vibrant performance by Kevin Pollack, all of which bring this otherwise dusty story to life. The plot is exactly what you'd expect: a mephistophelean figure promises to make a nerd into the most popular kid in return for the kid's eternal soul. No surprises with that premise. But Kevin Pollack acting as the lovable, detestable demon is what wakes up this age-old story. He's every bit as memorable as impish as Elizabeth Hurley playing the Devil in "Bedazzled" (only Liz has MUCH better legs in a dress ...as you will see, ugh!).
Though not quite as over-the-top as Robin Williams, Pollock delivers his own unique, highly colorful contribution. The fun is seeing what form he will take next (my fave is the ice cream man who grabs kids' money and hands them "Tabasco swirls" in return... haha before pelting them with vanilla scoops). Pretty early on you realize the plot is not nearly as important as the random, surreal gags like that.
If you do decide to pay attention to the story, you'll see that the high school setting is the perfect setting for the Faustian legend. High school society is the perfect microcosm to illustrate the fleeting glamor and material temptations of life. What nerd wouldn't sell his soul to date the head cheerleader?
I think adults and teens alike will get a kick out of this film. It's good, clean fun, no filthy language, no contrived sexual situations, nothing really disturbing at all. Just a cute re-telling of an ancient morality tale.
With its surreal vibe, I would compare "Deal of a Lifetime" to other bizarre teen classics like "Better Off Dead" (about a high school kid trying to kill himself in ridiculous ways), maybe "Back to School" (featuring middle-aged Rodney Dangerfield trying to be the big freshman on campus) or even "Ferris Bueler" though overall not as wacky as those masterpieces. But if you grew up with those movies, "Deal of a Lifetime" will be a nice nostalgic trip back to the fun we experienced with those 80s gems.
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