THE SURE THING
Review by Gordon Justesen
Stars: John Cusack, Daphne
Zuniga, Viveca Lindfors, Nicollette Sheridan
Director: Rob Reiner
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Mono, French Dolby Mono
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1, Full Screen 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 95 Minutes
Release Date: August 5, 2003
are you doing?”
going to bed.”
with me you're not.”
not going to bed with you, I'm going to bed in a bed you happen to be in
Very few romantic
comedies manage to capture the level of sweetness and all around satisfactory
the way Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing
does. Back in the 80s, teen romantic comedies were at their most frequent, and
most of them were able to hit the mark in terms of both laughs and endless
charm. As stunning as this may seem, some of these movies have a spark of
staying power in them, and this is indeed one of those films. Writer/director
Reiner, who was just coming off his critically acclaimed cult favorite, This
Is Spinal Tap, wove together a thoroughly engaging charmer of a film, which
created a memorable romance between two unlikely characters in a sweet rendition
of It Happened One Night.
Gibson (John Cusack) is a first year college student who's adjusted to college
life just fine, being that he fits the mold of the typical male who's primary
goal is party constantly and score with the hot chicks. In other words, Gib
isn't too good with the women on the campus, since none of the ones he
encounters seem too intellectual and not wanting what he wants. His every
attempt at planning an act of spontaneous sex with a female candidate fails
Then his luck
starts to change. Gib's best friend from high school, Lance (Anthony Edwards),
who's attending college closer to home in California, offers an unbeatable
proposal to him at the dawn of Christmas break. A beautiful blonde babe is
awaiting his arrival in California for a no questions type of engagement. In
other words, she's the ideal “sure thing”.
However, in order
to get to California at the right time, Gib must endure a cross-country journey
alongside Alison (Daphne Zuniga), a woman whom Gib attempted to hit on earlier,
and someone who seems to despise every inch of him. And this is just the start
of the couple's hair-raising adventure. Before long, the two are stranded
together on a highway road after irritating the life out of Alison's friends
and way of transportation. Gib and Alison now have to put up with each other for
a lengthy trip to California.
As the two manage
to get from one state to the next without killing each other, unintended
feelings start to present themselves. It isn't too long before Gib may start
questioning his real reason for going to California before he starts to admit
what he feels in his heart, but the truth may not sit well with Allison.
At the heart of The
Sure Thing is the wonderful chemistry between John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga.
We buy them both as feuding companions, as well as the possibility of their
feelings for each other. Cusack, in particular, is winning as always in the type
of role that he was known for in the 80s, which would resonate later in Say Anything.
endlessly charming, and an all-around feel good movie for sure, The
Sure Thing is a memorable, if somewhat by-the-numbers romantic comedy that
manages to have strengths in the writing and the characters brought to life by
the two leads. To this day, it remains one of the essential date movies, in my
TRIVIA: Tim Robbins appears in one of his first movies in the small role
of Gary Cooper, but not the dead one.
surprise. MGM manages to take near twenty year old flick, apply the old school
format of a double-sided disc, and still manages to pull off a nice look of a
presentation. The anamorphic picture (a full frame version is also included)
resonates quite nicely, resulting in both solid picture, good use of colors, and
an all around striking amount of detail. Not all the way excellence, but given
the age of the movie, this is a much exceptional release.
Remastered in a 5.1
mix, the sound quality is far from perfect, but at the same time sounds a whole
lot better than most movies on DVD from this time period. Numerous 80s songs by
the likes of Rod Stewart and Huey Lewis get the best sound performance, and
dialogue manages the sound as clear as it possibly can. Other than that, not too
much action going on but in the front area.
A well assorted
Special Edition release, which features some nice, essential extras. Included is
a commentary track by Rob Reiner, a running trivia track, a retrospective
featurette titled “The Road to The Sure Thing”, as well as three additional
featurettes, and a trailer gallery.