As soon as you hear those few opening chords to 'Old Time Rock & Roll', odds are, the first thing to spring to mind when hearing them is something along the lines of Tom Cruise (or *insert pop culture character here*) sliding into view with a popped collar, no pants, and an air of "freedom" about him as he's been left at home with his parents out of town. Most of the time, this would generally result in some sort of party gone awry, but 'Risky Business' takes the whole concept to the extreme.
We are introduced to Joel Goodson (Cruise - get it? "good son?"). He lives with his parents (Nicholas Pryor and Janet Carroll), is a great high school student in all regards, and has plans (that are really more his Dads) to eventually go to Princeton University. Joel participates in an extracurricular activity involving the creation of small businesses in teams of students called "Future Enterprisers". Everything is on the up and up until Joel's parents leave on a trip, where his friend, Miles (Curtis Armstrong) tries to convince him to take full advantage of his parents absence, have some fun, loosen up, and just be able to say "F*ck it!"
It all starts out with the typical - raiding the liquor cabinet, driving the "good" car, etc. But a whole new and weird door opens up for him when Miles calls an escort to Joel's house for a good time. At first, there's a misunderstanding, but Joel is given a different contact who might be what he's looking for. Joel goes through with things, only to meet Lana (Rebecca De Mornay), who asks after the deed is done for $300, which leads Joel to the bank in which he has to use some pretty important cash in order to pay for his one night of fun. When he returns, Lana is gone, along with his parents expensive... egg.
They eventually meet again and have a confrontation that leads Lana to leave her pimp, Guido (Joe Pantoliano), and bascially end up squatting at Joel's house, only to introduce him to the concept of running a whole different kind of business. This will get him more money than the egg is even worth, and perhaps send him down a much darker path of destiny than he initially intended. But while this would be a cautionary tale most places, the thing about 'Risky Business' is that it, shall we say, "embraces the sleaze". We get that Joel is very uptight and cautious about where he ends up in the future, but we also get his reluctance about his situation and that maybe, just maybe, he's interested in something much more edgy.
For yours truly, I kind of see this as the 'Boogie Nights' of the 80s (I dunno what it would be today). It shows a certain side to the whole sex industry, but does so with escorts instead of porn stars. For 1983, it was probably a bit heavier than it stands today. By today's standards, I've just plain seen more, and there's nothing shocking about this movie at all. But I also can't think of much like it that came before it, and it really does kind of stand alone in its overall concept. So it certainly gets points for being unique, and edgy for the time. I don't know that it necessarily holds up today, but it also is what it is - a sleazy 80s comedy drama involving escorts.
So I enjoyed it for what it was, but I have to admit that I don't necessarily understand the hype behind it. It's perfectly fine, but it's not something I'd be able to throw on any old time, either. It probably worked better back then than it does now. But If nothing else, it has engraved the "Old Time Rock & Roll" image in the cinematic history books, and that's an image that has withstood the test of time in a major way. As I mentioned, that scene alone represents what's going on in a lot of teenage heads when their parents make the announcement that they're going away for a few days.
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