The Pick-Up Artist (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Pick-Up Artist (1987)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Pick-Up Artist Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

With this rote but well-cast romantic comedy, writer-director James Toback began his long association with actor Robert Downey, Jr. The latter stars as Jack Jericho, a grade school teacher and smooth operator who zealously polishes his cliched pick-up lines in front of a mirror. Jack's come-ons even work on Randy Jensen (Molly Ringwald), a redheaded museum tour guide who dishes up a stream of retorts, matching Jack's verbal banter. After quickly trysting in the back of Jack's car, Randy flatly thanks him and walks off. Realizing that Randy is his soul mate, Jack gets his pal Phil (Danny Aiello) to find her. She's in Atlantic City, desperately trying to win $25,000 with her paycheck. Her father, Flash (Dennis Hopper), is an inveterate alcoholic who owes the money to a mobster, Alonzo (Harvey Keitel). Alonzo is willing to erase the debt if Randy will sleep with a South American kingpin, so she's trying to hit a jackpot that will get her and Flash off the hook. With a deadline of tomorrow, Jack sets out to get Randy's money and convince her that he's Mr. Right. The Pick-Up Artist was the final film appearance of actress Mildred Dunnock, who played Jack's grandmother.more
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: James Toback
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 16, 2003
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Molly Ringwald
as Randy Jensen
Robert Downey Jr.
as Jack Jericho
Dennis Hopper
as Flash Jensen
Danny Aiello
as Phil Harper
Angie Kempf
as Jack's Student
Bob Gunton
as Portacarrero
Jilly Rizzo
as Floor Manager
Reni Santoni
as Man in Train Station
Max Raven
as Vinnie Costanza
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Pick-Up Artist

Critic Reviews for The Pick-Up Artist

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

James Toback's long-gestating portrait of a one-track mind becomes bogged down in unconvincing plot mechanics.

Full Review… | February 27, 2008
Top Critic

The film roams from the Upper West Side to Coney Island to Atlantic City, maintaining a lighthearted style that doesn't quite match the hints of obsessiveness in Mr. Toback's screenplay.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This is an appallingly silly movie, from its juvenile comic overture to its dreadfully sincere conclusion.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A light and fairly innocuous youth picture.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Pickup's 'little more' is in its quirky characters and its intentionally goofy melodrama.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Downey, who worked for one season on Saturday Night Live, has just the right emotional weight for the role of Jack, and the right touch of goofy boyishness to soften his aggressiveness.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Pick-Up Artist

I know this movie isn't perfect, but I do love it. One of those movies I grew up with staring the beautiful Molly Ringwald as Randy. How much did I want to be her growing up.
Looking at it now, Robert Downey Jnr's character, Jack, is pretty damn sleazy, and not really worthy of Randy, but hey, 80's movie. Good cast. No complaints from me. Although they really could have changed the casts wardrobe for the final scene. Everytime I watch this it bothers me that the two leads are wearing the exact same clothes two days later. Must have been a hell tight budget.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


The story is kind of a mish-mash of two different stories, and the dialogue is horrible, but there are a bunch of great actors in the movie. The actors are the only reason to watch it, and they can't even help the movie that much. Overall, it's not a good movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


Nothing special, but this really finds its own in the second half. The first half is just a little too happy go lucky and silly, but when the love story kicks in between Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald, it's smooth sailing. The premise is interesting and natural for its release period. It takes the term ladies man and takes it to a more extreme level. RDJ holds all the cards here, his performance is comedic gold with a touch of genuine dramatic acting.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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