Worth A Look: 52.94%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 2.94%
1 review, 28 user ratings
|Officer and a Gentleman, An
by Carina Hoskisson
"Officer" features Richard Gere in perhaps the only role in which I have ever found him even remotely attractive. And does he ever make up for it, DAMN GINA! Now I see what all the women 30 years older than I were cooing over. “Pretty Woman?” Go back to Smyrna. “First Night?” Let me Perry it for a moment “Could this be any more wooden?” And that pathetic attempt to revive the dead hooker of romantic comedies “Runaway Bride.” The sum of these “romantic flicks” is equal to eating 12 bags of Twizzlers, 9 boxes of Good ‘n’ Plenties, 8 bags of Sugar Daddies, 5 bags of Skittles eaten by the handful without regard to flavor combination and exactly 1 tray of cold, goopy nachos.So whats the difference with "Officer" ? This one has some depth, not a lot mind you, but enough that you can respect yourself in the morning. Gere plays a kid, Zach Mayo, with a sordid background spent in the brothels of Manila. He is raised after the death of his mother presented in an attempt to garner your sympathy, which nearly works, by his alcoholic sailor father, played with relish by Robert Loggia. Zach’s troubled background makes him (of course) long for the discipline of military life so he enrolls in Naval Flight School. This is the only thing he’s ever wanted! To fly! I had trouble making the leap from...wait, who cares what he’s ever wanted, he’s really hot.
"Richard Gere in the only role in which one could find him attractive"
The recruits are warned in the first couple weeks of Naval Flight School that there, in the wilds of Puget Sound, exist evil and maliciously deceptive creatures known as “Puget Debs.” These women, who have never heard of feminism, are so desperate to leave their menial blue-collar factory lives they will do anything to snare a Naval Pilot, live with him in sub-standard G.I. housing and endure the next 30 years entertaining the Captain’s wife at tea. For the purposes of this film, the delilah’s will be Debra Winger and Lisa Blount.
How they snare men include:
1. Feathered, Flippy, Farrah Fawcett-Majors Hair
2. Super-high-gloss power lip color
3. Slinky 80’s poly-wear + Jordache Jeans
4. Enough rouge to make the casual viewer wonder if Comsumption will take them after the next aria.
Its no mystery, Zach Mayo and his best-new-bud Sid Worley (David Keith) are hooked!
The next weeks are spent in Naval Flight School boot-camp. This includes every stereotype you can think of for a military movie. Starring Lou Gossett, Jr. in the role that typecast him for the rest of his career! “You WILL Climb that wall Sugar-Britches before you leave this Obstacle Course!” or such gems of dialogue as “You worthless pieces of SHIT.” No military film is complete without the guy who just can’t cut it, or the guy who just can’t get along with Our Hero who’ll end up being Our Hero’s best friend. Don't forget to notice the forgettable David Caruso as "the Wus." And, because this is the early 80’s and we have to acknowledge that feminism does exist, the G.I. Jane.
So why even watch this movie? David Keith’s perfomance as Sid Worley, the Okie that could, is a stellar example of how a stock character can become more than its celluloid limitation. Worley is prima facia a guy out of central casting, but morphs from a man who lives his life for everyone but himself into a guy who tries on a new life, the consequences be damned.
I can’t decide if Winger’s performance is the perfect portrayal of a dead-end girl going that way fast, or if she just slipped & hit the nail on the head. Either way both her character and her partner, Lisa Blount, are pretty enough in their low-brow way and just scheming enough to make you worry about those cute naïve boys at the Naval School. Gere is good in this movie because his character is strong, silent, troubled and just stupid enough to make you believe his journey. Oh yeah, and he’s really hot.
This movie is often characterized as a romantic one. I don’t buy that argument. Its subject matter includes painful and frightening issues where not so many movies travel and that people definitely don’t want to talk about. Officer is rated “R” for language as much as sex.I don’t think the characters lived happily ever after. I'm pretty sure they ended up in divorce court 10 years, 5 kids and 3 affairs later. I was most pleased that the vocal version of “Up Where We Belong,” the classic Hershey syrup love song that was the theme, didn’t actually appear IN the movie. Still, with all the faults I do recommend this as a mid-level drama with high notes of a rash romance.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3581&reviewer=44
originally posted: 06/27/02 13:52:23