Two friends living in a small town during the 1960s, run away to enjoy their freedom during the Vietnam War, thus disappointing the father of one of them. When they return to town, they realize the importance of family unity.
Robert Downey Jr.,
It's recruiting time and despite being short and scrawny, Johnny Walker is America's hottest young football prospect. His dilemma: should he take one of the many offers from college talent ... See full summary »
Bud S. Smith
Anthony Michael Hall,
Robert Downey Jr.,
Two girls, Carla and Lou meet on the street outside a loft waiting for their boyfriends. In a short time, they find out that they're waiting for the same guy - young actor Blake, who said ... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.,
Natasha Gregson Wagner
Destiny. Faith (Marisa Tomei) believes that two soul-mates can be united if they find each other. From the Ouija board, she has found the name of her missing half, and it is D-A-M-O-N ... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.,
P.K. runs away from home because her step-father keeps on harassing her sexually and her mother is ignoring the problem. She hides in the loading space of Kid Kane's pickup, who's on the ... See full summary »
In New York City, Jack Jericho, an elementary school teacher who lives with and takes care of his ailing grandmother Nellie, is a bit of a scammer, most notably demonstrated by he continually rehearsing his corny pick-up line in front of the mirror. Along with his good looking but slightly broken down vintage red Camaro convertible and his surface charm, Jack scours the streets for women he is attracted to to use his well-rehearsed pick-up line, he asking the important questions, such as marital status of his potential conquests, after the fact if he asks at all, the answers to which he doesn't really care. These pick-ups work a small percentage of the time, which is good enough for him as he collects his conquests' telephone numbers written down on a well-worn piece of paper he carries around with him at all times. Jack eventually uses his pick-up routine on two women he spies at a nightclub associated with who he will learn is mobster Alonzo Scolara. The first is Lulu, Alonzo's dumb...Written by
Writer and Director James Toback based the central character of Jack Jericho (Robert Downey, Jr.) on himself. See more »
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 »
You know something? I can't do this anymore.
[Referring to his alcoholism, as he dumps out his drink]
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a romantic comedy that's conventional but convincing and likable and sometimes very funny
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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