Plot: What’s it about?
Jonathan (Andrew McCarthy) was a simple young man from a small town, but now he has been given the chance to spend his senior year in a posh prep school. This means a better standard of living, better place to stay, a better education, and of course, the chance to have some serious fun. His roommate, Skip (Rob Lowe) comes from a wealthy background and is very spoiled, but he loves to have a good time. When he finds out that Jonathan is very shy and inexperienced in romantic matters, Skip decides to make sure that changes as soon as possible. So Jonathan ventures into the city and looks for some action and soon enough, he meets a beautiful older woman, Ellen (Jacqueline Bisset). As time passes, it is obvious lots of sparks are present and the two begin a passionate affair. But when she finds out he is underage, Ellen is forced to end their fun and send Jonathan back to school. As fate has it though, these two will meet again and under some unusual circumstances, but what will become of their passion?
I know a lot of people dislike them, but I can never enough teen flicks in my collection, so I was pleased when MGM released Class on our beloved format. It has all the elements needed to enter this genre, which means sex, laughs, and a solid young cast. Some names include Rob Lowe, Casey Siemaszko, Alan Ruck, Andrew McCarthy, and John Cusack, all veterans of the teen flick genre. A few more experienced talents are present as well and a whole, the cast is wonderful and seems perfect for this movie. While it is true that the whole “young man has an affair with an older woman” deal has been done before, Class offers some new spins and lots of laughs, which means the premise works well. I will say this isn’t one of the better entries in the teen flick genre, but there are enough good moments to warrant a rental at the least. Some of the jokes seem forced, as do some subplots, but it all seems to work out well enough in the end. I think a rental will suffice here in most cases, but teen exploitation fans will want to add this one to their collections, to be sure.
This film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, but the real leads come in the form of Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. We’re not too used to seeing either of these two perform that well, but here they seem natural in their roles and that fuels their performances. Lowe (Wayne’s World, Tommy Boy) is right at home inside his character, which adds a much added realism to the film. You don’t expect real solid work in films like this one, but I was pleased with Lowe’s turn here. McCarthy (New World Disorder, Weekend At Bernie’s) is also above average here, much better than his later films within the teen flick genre. He seems to force the dialogue less, which helps out the humor and overall impact of his character. He didn’t win any awards, but for his skills and the nature of the movie, he does just fine. The cast also includes Cliff Robertson (Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken), Alan Ruck (Twister, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Casey Siemaszko (Three O’Clock High, Back to the Future), Virginia Madsen (The Hot Spot, Candyman), John Cusack (High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank), and Jacqueline Bisset (Dangerous Beauty, Wild Orchid).
Video: How does it look?
Class is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame edition included on the disc’s flip side. Aside from being a little on the soft side of the scope, this transfer looks terrific. The colors seem a little soft, but the hues still look natural and bright, so no real distractions are present. The flesh tones look good also, very warm and no distortion can be seen within them. No flaws with the contrast, as black levels seem dead on and no detail loss can be detected. The source print looks pretty clean and no compression errors surface either, this is a very nice presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a dialogue based comedy and as such, the included mono track is able to handle the audio without any real problems. The film’s music and sound effects come off as limited in scope, but that is to expected and since they sound distinct, no real complaints in that area. The main focus is dialogue, which is in crisp form and shows no harshness or volume inconsistencies. It might not be too flashy, but it manages to get the job done. This disc also houses a Spanish mono track, English captions, and French & Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains the film’s theatrical trailer, but no other bonus materials. I know a behind the scenes documentary exists for this picture, but I am unsure why it hasn’t been included on this edition.