It took me a long time to get around to seeing this, but I'm glad I bought it: written by John Hughes 'Career Opportunities' is right up there with his best, though released in 1991, I'll always think of it an as 80s movie and the conclusion to an unofficial anthology than began with 'Mr. Mom'.
Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley) represents the natural progression of the staple Hughes protagonist: he's Billy Liar meets Ferris Bueller with all the complex insecurities of Cameron sans the safety net of high-school; with no principal Rooney to defy, Jim's trapped in an empty materialist nightmare (the 'Target' store) where Jim's biggest threat is the fear of continuous failure becoming his defining legacy. Jennifer Connelly (misunderstood poor little rich girl with a rack as big as her heart-of-gold; Josie McClellan) is there to show him that his fears are relative / rather pointless in the grand scheme of things; and that both of them, in spite of their radically different backgrounds, are disillusioned and weary with the elusive pursuit of purpose and happiness. It's a film that foreshadows a lot of the issues society’s still dealing with today, and an in store two-hander is as bold a directorial decision by TV director Bryan Gordon, as Hughes's detention room setting in 'The Breakfast Club'.
Josie & Jim (wonder if that's a 'Jules Et Jim' reference) help each other put life in perspective, and there's an honesty there that resonates with the audience. I think it also reflects the mood of the actors involved at the time; neither of whom, despite their obvious talent, were big name stars with much work on the horizon, and fairly lean times lay ahead. Frank Whaley would go onto star opposite Kevin Spacey in the superlative 'Swimming With Sharks' (1994) crop up with small roles in big movies, stick with independents and direct his own film way down the line. Jennifer Connelly was all but wiped out by the mid nineties, went into TV became very serious (much to the dismay of those whose only recollection of this movie is the mechanical horse scene) and made a big comeback in the 00s with some sterling, high profile performances. 'Career Opportunities' is a low key, easy film to watch with some hidden depth: funny, romantic and genuine.
[ 25. February 2009, 19:15: Message edited by: Kash ]
Posted by Valley (Member # 1322) on :
Might be one of Devo's fav 90's movies. Enjoyable flick.
Posted by Chris the CandyFanMan (Member # 3197) on :
And of course with another Candy cameo, in what ended up his final production in conjunction with Hughes (he was originally supposed to return as Gus "the Polka King of the Midwest" Polinski in Home Alone 2 the following year, but it never came together for still unclear reasons), which always makes any film better.
Posted by aTomiK (Member # 6575) on :
Good movie! Connelly is ultra gorgeous in this one!
And Chris, that Candy cameo sure was a nice bonus.
Posted by JAY LEE (Member # 6345) on :
Connelly's.... hmm... "assets" drove me crazy as a teen, watching this film!
Posted by logan5 (Member # 1467) on :
The last true teen movie of Hughes' career. I still remember when this came out, feeling like the whole genre was rapidly dying, but how it was nice to see an 'old school' teen movie.
It's a good film, but watching it always makes me feel wistful because I associate it with the closing down sale they had on the 80's in the early 90's. The sad end of a great era.
Posted by jdocster (Member # 5752) on :
I really like this movie. It does have an 80s feel big time. I really liked Frank Whaley in this. He's good in everything he does. I'm surprised he's not a big star. If you've never seen Swimming With Sharks (1994) you should. He is excellent in that movie.
Jennifer Connelly did a good job too and she's gorgeous.
Posted by Fightertown (Member # 7418) on :
Posted by J2ME (Member # 5728) on :
I haven't seen this in a long time. I always loved the interview scene between Frank Whaley and John Candy.
It was kind of a Ferris Bueller hangover for me. Didn't have as much plot as some of Hughes other movies. Connelly was breathtaking, always felt Whaley and her wasn't a believable hookup, but hey it's hollywood. Still a fun movie to watch though.
Posted by aTomiK (Member # 6575) on :
Rewached Career Opportunities and it´s still pretty good Ferris meets Breakfast Club story.
Adore Connelly but i must say that Whaley can be quite irritating at times. Love the Candy scene and William Forsythe was hilarious as Whaleys foreman. Good film but the 80s Hughes magic was already gone.
Posted by Nostalgic for the '80's (Member # 37454) on :
"Career Opportunities" is a decent early '90's film that still retains a lot of the sensibilities of a John Hughes late '80's movie. Needless to say, JC provided a lot of nice "eye candy" in the film
John Candy's cameo was hilarious, and quite possibly the funniest scene in the film.