Risky Business (1983)

Writer/Director: Paul Brickman

Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano, Richard Masur, Bronson Pinchot, Curtis Armstrong, Nicolas Pryor, Janet Carroll

Joel Goodson (Tom Cruise) is a high school senior who is already halfway to an ulcer from anxiety about future success.


He stresses about his SAT scores, his performance as a Future Enterpriser, and getting into a good college.


His friends urge him to lighten up; he tries to do so while his parents are away on a trip, and the result is a life-changing experience for him. 

This is not only a very funny film, but it is also very insightful and subversive about the get-ahead-quick, materialistic mentality that lies behind the kind of uber-businessmen that began coming up in the 80s and have enriched all of our lives so much with various financial shenanigans over the past decades.


Cruise's character goes from an innocent kid who believes that the key to success is hard work and preparation to one who realizes that a clever opportunist with a smooth line of bullshit is the one who will really come out at the head of the pack. 

The decades that have elapsed since this film was released have furnished ample evidence that writer/director Paul Brickman was prescient on this point.

Excellent work from the supporting cast as well.


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