Directed by Michael Chapman (1983)
by Francis Friel, Rosalie Kicks!, Benjamin Leonard, and Jaime Davis
The Tommy C. Appreciation Club, or TCAC, solemnly swears to watch and appreciate all theatrical performances by Tom Cruise then recap them, round-table style. First up, Tommy's first real-real starring vehicle, teen football drama All the Right Moves.
Francis Friel: Guys, this movie isn't real. I think I dreamed it. All The Right Moves. Not a real movie.
Benjamin Leonard: Oh. It's real. It's VERY real. As a matter of fact, it is both a perfect representation of 1983 as well as today.
Rosalie Kicks!: Guys. Wait. I'm not sure. There is no way someone would actually make a movie where the main star is football? Would they? Why in the hell would Tommy C. agree to play second fiddle to a football? Makes absolutely no sense. Andddd Marty's mom...this football must have had some real dirt on these two.
Francis: The most disturbing thing about this movie BESIDES THE SCENE WHERE TOMMY TRIES TO RAPE MARTY'S MOM BUT SHE STOPS HIM THEN APOLOGIZES FOR STOPPING HIM is the fact that Michael Chapman managed to direct a movie that looks as shitty as this. Way to go, Young Jan de Bont. Fire these two.
Jaime Davis: I'm also not into the sexual assault scene - I know shit was different in the 80s and all, but damn. You don't do that to anyone, let alone Amanda Jones AKA Marty's Mom AKA Caroline in the City AKA Lea Thompson. Also her character is the best. She plays sax! In the marching band! She's Not Just Another Cheerleader in Another Goddamn Football Movie!
Rosalie: Totally agree. I loved that she was NOT a cheerleader. She was in band. Typically characters that are in band are portrayed as NERDS. Not Marty's mom...she was a stone cold fox. Guys, the almost rape scene was gross butttttttttttt we gotta give it to our pal Tommy for dating someone in the band. Tommy doesn't care about social status.
Francis: Tommy's friend looks like a Meathead Adam Driver, btw.
Rosalie: Tommy is a friend to all.
Jaime: But also...Chris Penn is in this! He's the 2nd best part of Footloose. (Can't remember what the 1st best part is, though). Either way...RIP Chris Penn.
Benjamin: I gotta say, the sexual assault was handled OK in the sense that, he stopped, didn't hate her, and totally didn't treat her shitty for stopping him and he didn't go cheat on her with some gross skank cheerleader. He was just a pissy angsty teen boy. It was a pretty honest depiction of the situation in the time.
I felt this was chasing after a Deer Hunter motif pretty hard. Some decent performances in what is overall a really bleak and disturbing central Pennsylvania. But then, it flips everything around in the end and everyone is just barely happier than being suicidal. Maybe this was funded by the Centralia chamber of commerce to combat the perception given by Deer Hunter.
Rosalie: Guys. You're missing it tho...if it were not for Marty's mom, Tommy C. would never have gotten out of Bumfuck, PA and he would have never tried to open that cocktail bar in Jamaica cause he wouldn't have had the confidence. Marty's mom should have a national holiday in which we celebrate her greatness.
Benjamin: It's true! If it weren't for the love of a good woman, this lump of shit foozeballer would be stuck in the shittiest job at the mill for the rest of his life.
Francis: This was totally Teen Deer Hunter. This was also this character's first step on his road to eventually changing his name to Frank and becoming a Men's Rights Activist Guru. Chris Penn, the most un-typecast-able actor of all time. He's basically doing a Jock Spicoli in this. I blame all of the bizarre acting and marblemouth choices on Chapman, by the way. Cause to be honest, Lea's pretty bad in this, too. No one really gets away clean except Coach T. Nelson, who's doing the only thing he really knows how to do, anyway.
Jaime: "CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN'T LOSE!"
Rosalie: Seriously. I was just waiting for something to happen that I cared about. Do people really like football?
Jaime: "I DON'T WANT...YOUR LIFE."
Francis: "He said the place turned into a fuckin' bullet festival!" "He's fuckin' drivin' around with a cop in his trunk!" "I'll call you a hearse."
Jaime: "SHOW ME THE MONEYYYYYY!"
Francis: Chris Penn quotes from other movies. Sorry, I got confused.
Jaime: It's ok...I'm just quoting football movies anyway.
Benjamin: Soooooo did we forget about Tommy C?
Rosalie: No. We didn't forget about Tommy C. the "director" did. We all have choices in life. This guy decided to choose football over our pal Tommy. He was trying to hold him back. Seriously, how do you cast someone so tiny in a football movie?! It was all a set up from the beginning. There is a reason that this was Chapman's follow up project:
This guy. Wow. Directing was stressful for him. The whole pointing at people and telling 'em to stand in certain places, it was all just too damn hard. So he ended up with a career behind the camera...literally. Tommy. Well, he went on to do amazing things including another stint with Marty's mom. So, who got the last laugh?
Francis: I bet Tommy sends Chapman sarcastic "thank you" cards after every one of his movie premieres.
Rosalie: That old sport probably invites him to all his holiday gatherings. Never gives him a plus one though. Just sends the invite: Chapman & Football.
Stay tuned for next month's TCAC: Knight and Day.