The Rachel Papers (1989)
Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,308
A teen sex comedy derived from the arch debut novel of author Martin Amis by debut director Damian Harris (son of actor Richard Harris). Dexter Fletcher stars as Charles Highway, a 19-year-old computer nerd in London who has created a program that will allegedly guide him through the process of seducing a girl. Charles is determined to win over a beautiful, older woman before he enters Oxford University as a freshman. Then he meets 20-year-old American girl Rachel Noyce (Ione Skye), who
May 12, 1989 Wide
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It has a brisk, well-turned-out quality that augurs well for Harris, the son of Richard Harris. Helping set and maintain the film's smart tone is Chaz Jankel and David Storrs' deft, trendy score.
Director Damian Harris isn't able to capture the book's special charms, and resorts to having his young hero address the camera to keep the viewer in the picture.
The result is without dramatic or moral weight, despite Highway's contrived comeuppance, and it's impossible to care about the characters.
Pryce gives one of the year's most refreshingly uninhibited performances as the boy's weird, postmodern hippie brother-in-law Norman. And Fletcher is a genuine star. His devilish precocity makes The Rachel Papers a bracing treat.
Captures the brash boldness of the novel, but not the literary wit. A misguided affair.
Why must film-makers always be such slaves to the lowest common denominator?
Martin Amis's brilliantly acerbic first novel is unpersuasively filmed as a trendy teen comedy, with its self-loathing intellectual hero transformed into a nerdy-but-lovable computer geek.
As a coming of age story, this is much more fun than many contemporary 'teen comedies'.
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