The Rachel Papers Movie Review

The Rachel Papers

There's only one Obsession to have when you're 19... Women!


Dexter Fletcher, Ione Skye, James Spader, Jonathan Pryce

Bill Paterson, Michael Gambon, Lesley Sharp, Jared Harris, Aubrey Morris, Claire Skinner, Nicola Kimber, Shirley Anne Field, Pat Keen, Amanda De Cadenet Update Cast

Editor Kara Petty
Director, Damien Harris, is the son of legendary screen star Richard Harris who is probably most recently remembered for playing Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.

More Trivia from The Rachel Papers


The Rachel Papers is a very watchable British 80's rom-com, starring an equal mix of very capable Brit and US actors. Dexter Flethcer (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) plays Charles Highway, a suave 19 year Oxford university student who wishes to expand his many female conquests to include an older woman.

The Rachel Papers of the title refer to our lead charactor's unusual and slightly disturbing technique of keeping detailed notes and images on his home computer of all the women he has or wishes to seduce and of one particularly mysterious and older American girl called Rachel Noyce (Ione Skye).

With this, Charles has the useful ability to mould his personality (and bedroom) to appeal to the desires of any girl he wants. Sporting some chunky Raybans and a dodgy suit, Highway speeds his moped around the beautiful rainswept streets of Oxford, in purusit of the aloof Rachel. He does not have it all easy however, as Rachel has an older boyfriend in tow (James Spader in typically smarmy mode) and of course she has to get past Norman, his knuckle scraping brother-in-law.

Remarkably - especially considering he uses seduction skills akin to stalking - Charles finally charms Rachel and some steamy and robust sex scenes follow. The real star of this film however is the oddball charactor Norman, who despite being the comedy stooge of the story, actually walks away with the most grounded pieces of dialogue in the whole film.

Full marks to Jonathan Pryce for a funny and memorable charactor who is far more endearing than the hapless and often annoying Highway, or the one-dimensional Rachel.

Author: Andy S.Update This Review


Very upbeat for an 80's Brit-flick, worth seeing again for the Johnathan Pryce character. Often very funny.

Some great performers, funny in places, set in Oxford. Norman the brother-in-law.
Some one-dimensional charactors and a ropey plot.

Rewind Rating


The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Damian Harris
Writer: Martin Amis, Damian Harris
Producers: Eric Fellner, Andrew S. Karsch, Paul Raphael, James T. Roe III, Scott Millaney
Locations Manager: Rupert Meaden

Update The Crew


Release Date: 12 May 1989
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: United Artists
Production: Initial Film and Television, Longfellow Pictures, Virgin
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Update The Data

The Movie Trailer
Jump To: Music & Soundtrack Vibes
1989 United Artists
V4_27 Powered by Rewind C21 CMS