Johnny Be Good

1988, Movie, PG-13, 98 mins

Review

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JOHNNY be worthless. Anthony Michael Hall, the likable teen star of the John Hughes comedy SIXTEEN CANDLES, appears here with a new image, as a squeaky clean All-America quarterback. Looking awkward with his newly muscular physique, Hall tries hard to be a regular guy in this film, but can't shed the aura of geekiness that served him so well in early adolescence and crippled his adult career. We're supposed to believe that Hall is the hottest high school quarterback in the entire nation. The script botches a nice opportunity to satirize the venal realm of college athletic recruiting, instead playing on crudely rendered male fantasies, double entendres, toilet humor, and stereotypical depictions of women and minorities. Hall is being courted by all the top college football programs, some more persuasively than others. However, he's promised his steady girl friend (Uma Thurman) that he'll enter the generic State University. This school has a good football program, but it expects its students to attend class, pass exams, and play for the love of the game instead of their NFL prospects. JOHNNY BE GOOD will probably be best remembered, if at all, for the commercial that appears halfway through the film, in which then Chicago Bears star QB Jim McMahon is visited by Hall on the set of his latest promotional spot. Also onscreen are Howard Cosell, Los Angeles sportscaster Ted Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Pete Koch, and the ubiquitous former footballer Tim Rossovich. leave a comment

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