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Lewis John Carlino's film has moments of insight, taking a few well-aimed shots at the vaguely sinister network of American public school life. In the first reel it neatly subverts the bullying scenario that threatens when the geekish Jonathan arrives at the school, while offering the briefly intriguing sight of Lowe in scarlet bra and pants. And there's a subplot of deceit and complicity that both strengthens and threatens the friendship that rapidly forms between Skip and Jonathan. In many ways, though, the most interesting element of the picture--Skip's relationship with his dysfunctional family--is left unexplored. Jonathan's deflowering and subsequent interludes are merely titillating. And Bisset's Ellen, a desperately sad character, becomes superfluous once the revelation that she is the "teacher" sets the boys' friendship on the path to fraternal solidarity.
On the DVD: Class is presented in widescreen anamorphic format and looks as good as its leading players, although the Dolby Digital mono soundtrack has odd moments of flatness that detract from the cinematic experience. Extras are limited to the cinema trailer that now looks like a red rag to the puritanical objectors who were appalled by the graphic scenes in which Jonathan loses his virginity to the predatory Ellen. --Piers Ford
Jonathan Onger (Andrew McCarthy) is the new boy at a wealthy looking prep-school. We see him being sent off at the bus station by his very humble looking mum and dad and his initial awkwardness as he stumbled around the hallowed halls of the new school looking for his room. When he eventually finds it he is welcomed with open arms by his new roommate, the grandly named Franklin 'Skip' Burroughs IV (Rob Lowe) or “Skip” to his friends. Much to Jonathan’s surprise Skip peels off his dressing gown to reveal he’s wearing ladies underwear. He explains to Jonathan that this is a time honoured first day tradition and eggs him on to don similar attire. Alas for Jonathan this is all part of a practical joke and he is soon left stranded outside, locked out of his dormitory dressed in very frilly skimpies. For the sensitive and timid Jonathan this is a nightmare and he settles into such a dark depression that we wonder if he will make it through the term. But in a turnaround of dramatic proportions he plays his own joke on Skip and in a mess of faked suicides and blow up dolls the two boys become firm friends.
Skip comes from a moneyed and privileged background and for the lowly Jonathan his lust for life and good natured pranks are a real eye-opener. During one such prank Jonathan finds himself the butt of a calamitous series of events and is banned from the dance with the neighbouring girls’ school.Read more ›
Two thumbs up