Risky Business 25th anniversary DVD

Can it really be 25 years since I saw Risky Business in the theater? My friend J drove; she had a car. Also, she pretended to be my older sister, since I was only 15 and not technically allowed to see the movie. Tom Cruise was my first adolescent movie-star crush–he had me from the opening chords of “Old Time Rock n Roll.”

Watching it again, 25 years later, I felt the movie aged surprisingly well. It was definitely of its time, the go-go early eighties. But its theme of financial success at the cost of one’s soul is timeless. It’s a teen movie:

So, your folks are going out of town…

but it goes beyond the typical. The director and producers were trying to do more than a teen-sex movie, and I think they succeeded. Cruise looks impossibly young as the scared, sheltered, suburban teen Joel. Rebecca de Mornay projects a mix of tough vulnerability, kindness and calculation as a hooker with no heart of gold. They’re at the center of what I see now as a very dark, ironic morality tale.

The extras on the 25th anniversary disc are worth watching. They include screen tests of de Mornay and Cruise, whose chemistry and charisma were apparent early on. There’s commentary from other directors, like Amy Heckerling and Cameron Crowe, as well as interviews from the makers and actors from the film. Joe Pantoliano, who played Guido the Killer Pimp, notes that this is the film that “made” him. Also included is the director’s preferred ending, which is much darker than the one the studio insisted on. As such, it better fits the film, I think.

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