"The Sure Thing"
Dir. Rob Reiner
Scr. Steve Bloom & Jonathan Roberts
Release Date: March 1, 1985
Speaking of smart movies about young people, Rob Reiner's charming take on "It Happened One Night," the road trip-as-meet cute starring John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga was a delightful surprise. Cusack was only a year out from his supporting role in "Sixteen Candles," and it was obvious that he had a fully-formed comic persona that was perfect for the '80s archetype of the wiseass motormouth. When you write a film like this, the problem is that you're making it very clear what the game is going to be. Two people on a road trip across the country, oil and water, and of course they're going to end up in love. That's the point. But making that feel honest and not like a formula is the trick, and that's where it became clear that Reiner was the goods, a guy who could take an idea as obvious as this and make it feel earned and honest. So much of '80s teen cinema was focused on the importance (real or imagined) of getting laid that it didn't seem odd at the time that the title of this is so on the nose. Viewed from today's perspective, I'm surprised they got away with a PG-13 on this one at all.