One Crazy Summer Movie Review

One Crazy Summer

They're out of school, out on Nantucket, and out of their minds.


John Cusack, Demi Moore, Joe Flaherty, Bob Goldthwait

Billie Bird, Curtis Armstrong, William Hickey, Tom Villard, John Matuszak, Mark Metcalf, Kimberly Foster, Joel Murray, Matt Mulhern Update Cast

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When Calamari picks up two women at the dance, the strawberry blonde on the right is director Savage Steve Holland's sister, whose childhood nickname was Squid and is the basis for the little girl in the film, also named Squid.

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I love John Cusack. Not in an obsessive, "I'm your number one fan" sort of way, but when I turn on any of his 80's comedies, a smile forms on my face and I cannot get rid of it during the film. He is great at keeping a straight face and even makes recycled humor work.

In the clever Savage Steve Holland opening, we have a sweet Rhino cartoon, showing the creature searching for true love. As he ends up at a bitter end at the hands (paws?) of the elite "Cute and Fuzzy Bunnies" (read: rich snobs), the page crumples and you meet Hoops, a senior about to graduate high school, who needs to complete a cartoon about someone finding true love by the end of the summer for his fall art school entry. As to why someone has mere days before college entry to hand in such a project and not know they will be accepted before then is beyond me, as you generally know the college you are embarking upon months before graduation, however I will chalk that up to plot development.

Hoops is the Cusack speciality, an everyman of 18, the Jimmy Stewart of teen flicks. Cute, but not drop dead gorgeous, honest eyes and prone to bizarre situations.

He wants to be special, be good at something. His poorly tagged moniker of Hoops is due to his inability to ever make a basket shot. He has weird friends, with even weirder relatives. Throughout the course of the movie, the strength of these friendships is what makes him realize all along, he WAS a somebody.

His friend George suggests he visit Nantucket with him for the summer, to get 'inspiration' for his project. After seeing that his mother has aspirations of him becoming a Street Sweeper, he concides.

First they have to pick up George's adorable little sister Squid and her rather odd dog , then get gas and they'll be off. While getting gas, they meet Cassandra (Demi Moore) a musician who is on the run from a motorcycle gang whom she has performed with. Seems they wanted to keep all the money. After distracting them, Hoops and Cassandra jump into George's car and they are off!

Nantucket is as beautiful as George promised, but the locals are very odd. You have Grandma, who delights in cooking you dinner and charges reasonable rates for the meal, the Stork Twins, Egg and Clay, who run the local mechanic shop, Ack-Ack, the son of a local military man who hopes his son will become a marine (which is hopeless seeing as this guy is so sensitive, he cries when he sees a lost doll, lamenting that the child who lost it will be sad) and the local rich kid thug, Teddy Beckersted, an evil, whiny spoiled snit who feels he owns the town and has a bunch of lackeys and a sunkissed girlfriend who has eyes for Hoops.

Now Hoops is in a pickle, as he is very interested in Cassandra, who needs to raise money to save her Grandfather's house and land, which is currently coveted by the Beckersted's, who have been drooling after this land for years. After her Grandfather dies, she needs to pay off the mortage and FAST. Her first attempts flop, but eventually she gets help from her new friends and she gets the money. Apparently, the Beckersted's are a step ahead of her and this leads up to the very odd concept of the Gang having to race the annual Regatta to beat out Teddy (he needs to win every year, or else his Grandfather cuts him and his father off) and figures he can trade the trophy for the land. Because it's not like Grandfather Beckersted would actually be WATCHING this race he is so insistent his grandson win every year, but I'll over look that fact as the race is enjoyable and fun.

This is a Savage Steve Holland film, take a guess how it ends, but it's still loads of fun and seeing it still brings that smile to my face.

Author: Chris PetersonUpdate This Review


Holland manages to reuse ancient jokes and pull it off. Predictable ending to be sure and seeing a babyfaced Demi Moore with Cusack, a pairing I never would have though possible is sweet.

I loved the whole take on the "Cute and Fuzzy Bunnies" approach, classism is a big theme in the '80's era and here it's pulled off as making the rich look like a bunch of whiny saps and the lesser class as the ones with the true idea of how to live.

Fun, quoteable humor. Almost nothing truly offensive, like a true teen movie should be.
Some of the rehashed humor is skip-able, but not completely unwatchable.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Savage Steve Holland
Writer: Savage Steve Holland
Producers: Gil Friesen, Michael Jaffe, Andrew Meyer, William Strom
Locations Manager: Joseph E. Foley

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Release Date: 08 Aug 1986
MPAA Rating: PG
Studio: Warner Bros.
Production: A&M Films
Genre: Comedy

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The Movie Trailer
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1986 Warner Bros.
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