Risky Business (1983)


After watching the latest installment in the Mission Impossible series, I decided to spend the remainder of my summer watching almost everything that starred Tom Cruise. A “Tom Cruise-athon”, if you will. Going through his long list of films, I came across one that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

Risky Business (1983) is a coming-of-age film introducing and starring Cruise as Joel, a high school student who lives with his wealthy parents and is nudged by his father to follow in his footsteps. This pressure causes Joel to live a mundane life, take part in extracurricular activities at his school, and do as his parents say regardless of how he feels.

The story takes a turn for the better when Joel’s parents leave for a trip, leaving Joel with the whole house to himself. His friends urge him to take advantage of his freedom and let loose a little. Joel succumbs to his friends’ pleas and ends up doing everything that he wouldn’t have done while his parents were around—driving his father’s expensive Porsche, raiding the liquor cabinet, consorting with prostitutes, and getting in deep with the wrong people.

What makes this film a cinematic masterpiece—apart from the cast’s commendable performances and a well-executed storyline, is the way that it explores capitalism, lost innocence, and materialism. In the labyrinth of all the chaos, he meets Lana (Rebecca De Mornay), a prostitute who helps him undo his mistakes before his parents come home. Although she helps him experience life in a different way, she is torn between her professional commitments and her newfound attraction to Joel

This classic has had a great influence on pop culture. Yes, I am talking about the famous scene in which Tom Cruise dances to “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger in his hallway wearing nothing but a pink shirt, briefs, and socks.

This movie also has a spectacular soundtrack that is guaranteed to give you a major throwback experience. So if you want to see another side of Tom Cruise that does not involve him beating the living daylights out of bad guys, this film is a must-watch. MMM1/2