"Risky Business" (1983)

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Paul Brickman
Written By: Paul Brickman
Runtime: 99 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros.

Tom Cruise slides into our hearts as the lovable teenager, Joel Goodsen, in this pre-Top Gun adventure. Thrilled at the idea of his parents being away for a few days, Joel takes advantage of his freedom by hiring the gorgeous Lana (Rebecca De Mornay) for a night of delight. However, stunned by the amount of Lana’s “bill” the next morning, and after crashing his father’s Porsche, Joel grows frantic. In an effort to raise a lot of quick money, a very desperate Joel turns his house into a brothel.  

I'd just like to say first that I love this film. It’s one of my favourites. 

Both Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay are fantastic together. Two gorgeous people. Even their characters fit together really well, they both sort of need each other. There is one scene when things have sort of gone to shit (excuse the phrasing) and Joel goes to Lana, having no one else in the current situation to turn to, and she just holds him. No dialogue, none is needed, he just walks over and she hugs him as the camera rotates around them. It’s a really touching moment.
The first scene that everyone will think of when they hear “Risky Business” is the infamous Tom Cruise dancing in his living room to “Old Time Rock And Roll” in his underwear. His parents are out of town, he has the house to himself for the first time, he just goes for it! The slide across the floor in the doorway is iconic. There have been many parodies and references made to it through the years in other TV Shows or films. Does anybody watch The Goldbergs? They have a Risky Business episode that I would recommend anyone who loves this movie to watch! It’s very well done. Even The Simpsons have tried their hand at the slide. Yep, this scene is as badass as they come.  

There’s a dream-like scene where we first meet Lana. She comes into the house, the doors and windows open, leaves and curtains blow in disarray. Joel walks over to her and they…well, they have sex. It’s cool the way it’s done but I always found it confusing because I thought he was dreaming – and yet she’s still there the morning after demanding money from him. I really like the music in the scene though: Tangerine Dream’s Lana.

The infamous scene on the train is, I maintain, the best sex scene in a movie. Why? Well…The whole thing is built up on anticipation without an ounce of nudity. We have Lana and Joel getting onto the train to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight”. This is the perfect song – the tempo, the words – just elevates the tension and anticipation beautifully. This is built further by each passenger getting off the train one by one. We know what’s going to go down. It’s just a case of when. Then finally the train comes to a final stop and Joel assists the final and otherwise permanent passenger onto the platform before hopping back on, and the train continues its journey to the music of Tangerine’s Dreams’ “Love On A Real Train”. Again, perfect music for this moment, ideal tempo. I love the lighting in this moment. Dim, just their silhouettes or shadows on their faces, arms and legs shown. Then we see a wide of the train just continuing its journey going through all these stops and empty stations. The night and the city lights, the slow-motion effect. Then finally we hear the ‘qua-tch’  sound as it comes to a halt, almost metaphorically mirroring things on the inside of the train reaching their climax. Best sex scene in a movie.

I actually think the name ‘Risky Business’ is very clever. This film, it’s not just your average teen movie about a horny teenager; there’s a cleverness to the writing amidst all the raciness too. Joel wants to go to college to study business, he wants to work in business. So what does he do? Starts up his own business by turning his house into a brothel with the help of Lana. It’s a little unconventional perhaps, but sure, the man got all the experience of the ins and outs of having a business, right? And a pretty successful one at that. At the end of the day Joel is just a kid, a little na├»ve it’s true, but he’s pretty resourceful with a good sense of initiative. More than his parents give him credit for! 

I imagine this film raised a few eyebrows when it came out (among other things). It’s a brilliant movie though. The soundtrack is my favourite part of it. I love the music. Tangerine Dream made this movie the success it is. It’s just such a cool and sexy movie; writing, performance, lighting, cinematography, soundtrack – there is no fault. 

Final Rating: 5/5 Stars