Friday, July 7, 2017
HIDING OUT (1987)
Directed By: Bob Giraldi
Written By: Joe Menosky & Jeff Rothberg
Cinematography By: Daniel Pearl
Editor: Edward Warschilka
Cast: Jon Cryer, Keith Coogan, Annabeth Gish, Tim Quill, Claude Brooks, Richard Portnow, Nancy Fish, Ned Eisenberg, John Spencer, Gretchen Cryer, Joy Behar, David Anthony Higgins
A very successful stock broker is called to court to testify against a mob boss who was into some inside trading. They hide him because of death threats. He gets caught in a gun battle and has to flee. He ends up hiding out as a student in a high school. He has to adjust to how things have changed as a teenager.
This film came out when a bunch of these types film were. Where an adult infiltrates high school as a student. The reason in this film is that he is on the run from the mob after some shady dealings in Wall Street.
He runs to his hometown where he is supposed to set his sister and instead decides to hide himself as a teenager with more punk styling. Where only his nephew knows his true identity and is his guide through the perils of high school, as his own sister doesn't recognize him Keep in mind this film and PLAIN CLOTHES were before 21 JUMP STREET. Which came or a short time later. Even though PLAIN CLOTHES Has more in common with jump street. It also played it more as a cop undercover, culture clash and more comedic.
The film seems like an early version of a film fad. Where movies with similar plots came out in the same year and around the same time, but usually had dramatically different takes on whatever the subject was. Think VICE VERSA vs 18 AGAIN vs LIKE FATHER LIKE SON. All movies get were body switch comedies that involved family members usually one older one younger switching bodies and acting the opposite than what they normally did. You can also see DANTE's PEAK vs VOLCANO and DEEP IMPACT vs ARMAGEDDON for other references to this phenomena. This seems to be more of a forgotten one, That I remember vividly.
This film is surprisingly more serious. Even though it bills itself a comedy. The situations are played more serious. Which makes it all the way more jarring as you come to expect more comedy but the film tries to play more dry and realistic (movie realistic) and becomes more dramatic than expected. I mean the film’s title pretty much says it all. Which is what both makes the film stand out and makes the audience feel off center. the tone never comes off correct.
As the film goes on of course he becomes more popular using his skills to get by and this also making his cousin more popular by association and actually has a little romance and love story. Though of course becoming popular opens him up to being recognized and soon. He has to go on the run again.
The film gives him a romance that the film doesn’t get caught up in and just seems to be another obstacle that he has to deal with. Though at least the film gives him a nemesis who isn’t actually all that bad, nor a jerk or doofus. He is more the over achiever under pressure and realizes a bit that his rule is over the top. That maybe he is wrong and that is what caused him to lose his girlfriend and her being naturally attracted to Cryer’s seeming rebel. Who is trying to lay low but who the school keeps making famous and popular despite his objections
The film is more modestly budgeted and unfortunately looks it. Even though high concept. More dependent on Actor Jon Cryer a youthful look. Where he can play both sides of the fence though getting a little long in tooth for those types of roles and still riding high off of PRETTY IN PINK fame. He does well in his role. He has always been an energetic performer. Who can bounce from comedy to drama with no problem. Though he has always been a bit better and more successful in comedy.
Keith Coogan also has a supporting role as his cousin. Coogan appears in a lot of teen movies or in a lot of movies in teen roles usually as the nice guy geek and comic relief rarely in a leading role. So he can play these types of roles in his sleep. This I believe was one of the first films I ever saw him in and found him quite entertaining and one of the more interesting aspects and characters of the film. He is an actor who never got his due or the right amount of respect despite being in movies people my age grew up with and can probably remember quite well.
When the film does come to the few action sequences they are cheesy and bad. In fact the whole on the run plot should have been cut but it is obviously a means to an end to get the story in motion or at least the concept. Though end up not very memorable or noteworthy.