Class Blu-ray Review
I’ve always been a sucker for coming of age films. There’s something special about the moment someone “grows up” and a good coming of age movie can capture that moment and allow the audience to relate to it with their own experiences. But not many of us grew up by sleeping with our best friend’s mom and even if we did, I’m pretty sure we didn’t have much in common with the characters in CLASS.
Skip (Lowe) and Jonathan (McCarthy) are polar opposite roommates at an elite boarding school. Skip is the classic playboy rich kid while Jonathan is more of a quiet introvert. When a prank goes wrong, Jonathan is banned from the school’s dance with a neighboring girl’s school and after some pushing form Skip, Jonathan decides to go to Chicago for the weekend. When in Chicago, Jonathan meets the beautiful and mysterious Ellen. When he’s invited to Skip’s house for Christmas, he learns that Ellen is actually Skip’s mom. Of course, Skip is not happy with Jonathan’s indiscretion.
Teen movies in the 80’s are all basically the same, but I have to give some credit to director Lewis John Carlino for trying to do something different with CLASS. While other movies were focused on dopey kids trying to lose their virginity, he tried to handle the subject with more…errr…class than some of his counterparts. Unfortunately for Carlino, the uncomfortable subject matter wasn’t really the problem. The problem was that it didn’t seem like Carlino had anything to say. The relationship between Jonathan and Ellen wasn’t enough to carry the film and the filler subplots weren’t enough to keep us interested. Jonathan cheated on his SAT’s and Skip knew about it, but that was only used as way to show Skip had forgiven Jonathan. But the worst subplot was between Skip and his dad and the discussions that Ellen had a mental disorder. That diminished the entire relationship between Ellen and Jonathan and at the same time, reduced the audience’s investment in the story.
But the scenes after Skip pranks Jonathan and before Skip finds out about his affair are actually pretty endearing. Andrew McCarthy made a career in the 80’s by playing the loveable loser and he embodies that in CLASS as the naïve kid learning the ways of the world from the wiser Ellen. It was also nice to see his transformation after their relationship kicked off and the confidence she gave him. But that made up about 30 minutes of the film and the rest of the movie got bogged down with fluff and garbage that didn’t have a positive impact on the story.
CLASS isn’t your typical 80’s teen movie and that both hurts and helps the film. In the end, CLASS felt like it didn’t ever know where it wanted to go or what it wanted to be. That fact was made perfectly clear with the abrupt way it ended. As much as I love 80’s movies and enjoy the work of the various members of the Brat Pack, I just couldn’t get behind CLASS.
Video: Surprisingly, CLASS doesn’t look half bad on Blu-ray given its age.
Audio: The audio was fine.