One Crazy Summer (1986)

One Crazy Summer (1986):  2/5

There must be something I don’t like about ’80s John Cusack. His 1989 film Say Anything is somehow seen as a ‘classic’ ’80s teen comedy, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to, and the same goes for One Crazy Summer — though it seems to be less highly regarded than its younger Cusack-y cousin in general.

This film follows Cusack as a struggling cartoonist, just out of high school and ready for an ah-maaaaazing summer of adventure. He encounters an equally struggling singer (Demi Moore), and what is supposed to be totally crazy, hilarious hi-jinks ensues.

Unfortunately, those hi-jinks are neither crazy or hilarious. I can see how some would be nostalgic for this film, having seen it in their own “glory days.” The premise attracted me at first for reasons of nostalgia, having felt a bit disillusioned and in need of adventure after I graduated high school as well. I expected to be able to relate to Cusack’s predicament greatly. But it just doesn’t work.

Demi Moore is just bad. Not that she was always bad. I’m quite fond of About Last Night and St. Elmo’s Fire. Heck, I’ll even admit that I love me some Ghost. But here, with her poor attempts to sing and her poor chemistry with Cusack, she leaves much to be desired.

The jokes and twists are beyond predictable, and the few that are surprising aren’t as exciting as they should (or, for that matter, could) be. It’s just a bunch of plain un-funniness all around.

The soundtrack is quite good, and the totally ’80s mix of cartoon and live action works as well. Unfortunately, though, those are the only two redeeming qualities.

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