Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Hands of Orlac, The
Death has Blue Eyes
Kala Azar
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
  One Crazy Summer Hoop Dreams
Year: 1986
Director: Savage Steve Holland
Stars: John Cusack, Demi Moore, Curtis Armstrong, Joel Murray, Kristen Goelz, Kimberly Foster, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom Villard, Billie Bird, Joe Flaherty, Matt Mulhern, William Hickey, Taylor Negron, Mark Metcalf, Linda Warren
Genre: Comedy, Romance, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Aspiring cartoonist Hoops McCann (John Cusack) really wants to write and illustrate a cute love story but can't seem to get his life together. Seeking inspiration he sets off to spend the summer on Nantucket with his friend George Calamari (Joel Murray) and the latter's near-mute kid sister Squid (Kristen Goelz) who brings along her crippled dog, Boscoe. Along the way Hoops saves the lovely Cassandra Eldridge (Demi Moore) from a dangerous motorcycle gang. Cassandra wants to be a singer but right now she's battling to save her late grandfather's house from the greedy Beckersted family. Hoops enlists an assortment of wacky friends to help Cassandra out and eventually what he has been searching for.

One Crazy Summer was the second film John Cusack made with quirky writer-director, producer and animator Savage Steve Holland. Which must have made for an awkward situation. Midway through filming Cusack reacted badly to a test screening of their first movie Better Off Dead (1985) which he not only described as the worst movie he had ever seen but told Holland he would never again trust him as a director. In recent years Cusack has admitted he overreacted and felt that way about all his movies. Still one cannot help but question his taste given both films remain seminal Eighties teen comedies and arguably exerted no small influence upon Cusack's similarly off-kilter, self-scripted cult comedy Grosse Point Blank (1997).

Sadly the (in retrospect, surprising) box office failure of One Crazy Summer followed by that of the later How I Got Into College (1989) soured Steve Holland on big screen filmmaking for the next twenty years or so. Cinema's loss proved children's television's gain as Holland went on to create and direct numerous animation series, sitcoms and TV movies for both the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon network right up to his recent good-natured boy band parody Big Time Rush. There is a surreal flavour to the cartoonish parallel worlds Holland creates onscreen that means his work has dated a lot better than some films by his overpraised contemporary John Hughes. Zany yet oddly heartfelt, One Crazy Summer crams in as many fast-paced gags, both visual and verbal, as the frame will allow much like the copy of Mad magazine two characters are glimpsed yokking over in one scene.

Yet amidst an abundance of winningly silly humour (e.g. Bobcat Goldthwait in a Godzilla costume stomping a model city; the uncle glued to the radio in the hope of winning a contest; the two little girls whose funny faces stay that way just as the grownups warned them) a genuine theme emerges depicting a world that seems overwhelming, strange and often ridiculous to the young heroes grappling with what to do with their lives post-high school. Several sub-plots concern father issues with both town bully boy Teddy Beckersted (Matt Mulhern) and comic side character Ack Ack Raymond (Curtis Armstrong) – Holland has a penchant for wacky character names - frustrated in trying to prove themselves to their overbearing dads. Given Holland was once an aspiring animator and includes a character inspired by his real-life sister (who cameos here) there is likely a semi-autobiographical element. Additionally the film depicts the central love story with a disarming degree of tenderness underlined by some eye-catching and inventive animated sequences that offer a window into Hoops' ongoing anxieties. How many other quirky comedies are as earnest in their belief in the importance of true love? Nevertheless, One Crazy Summer is a less nuanced comedy than Better Off Dead, focused primarily on pitching an endless assault of gags. On that count it undeniably delivers with the entire cast including Cusack and Demi Moore (proving she can do comedy) more than up to the task of keeping the laugh rate consistently high.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 2592 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: