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This could have been one of the classic comedies of all time, but NOOO! How can the people involved having seen the sequences in ECONOMICS, HISTORY AND LITERATURE class come off as they did not go back and write these three characters into more classroom scenes. Sam Kinison is dead and he could have been immortalized in a masterpiece. With a few more script rewrites, this could have been as good as Young Frankenstein. And add more Ned Beatty while your at it.
The Sam Kinison Scenes were laugh out loud great.
Back To School is funny and classic with perfect Dangerfield one liners
If we've learned anything, you gotta go back to college with your son sometimes! This is a great documentary!
The best comedy movie ever made!
Look, I'm gonna be brutally honest, and this might upset some people, but Rodney Dangerfield is not a very good comedic actor. That's just the truth of it. Of course, I'm not talking about how he is as a comedian because, honestly, I don't know much about his act. But, essentially, this movie is Rodney Dangerfield being Rodney Dangerfield. It's the only role he knows how to play and that's what he was comfortable doing and there's not a problem with that. But, once again, as an actor, he was really fucking bad. I think he'd be the first to tell you that he wasn't good. Having said that, the man does have a lot of charisma and presence. If there's ever been someone who resembles a one-liner dispenser, Rodney Dangerfield would be the closest person who comes to that. But, and this bears repeating, the guy is not a good actor. I think the thing about the guy is that, in my opinion, he was better off being a secondary character that you only take in small doses. Because, in small doses, Rodney's one-liners can be wildly entertaining. That's why his appearance in Caddyshack was so successful, he wasn't a major character and he only appeared in when he was needed. Caddyshack was the movie that, essentially, gave his career the surge it needed during the 80s. He wasn't is as high demand as I would have expected during this era, as post-Caddyshack, he only appeared in 2 major movies, Easy Money and this one. He had an uncredited appearance in Moving (with Richard Pryor) as a loan broker. But I don't feel like that should count. Maybe his TV appearances during the 80s were far more numerous. Regardless, having said that, I think your enjoyment of the movie relies solely on the fact on how much you can tolerate Dangerfield's shtick for 90+ minutes. Look, I'm not saying that the guy didn't have some good one-liners here, because that would be a lie, it's just the fact that his shtick is really the same joke with slight variations over and over and over again. But after the tenth time of hearing the same joke, it gets tiring. I do think the movie does a good job at sprinkling enough side stuff to where Rodney's shtick isn't always the focus of everything, but it's not like they could still avoid that tiring factor. Funny thing is that when I was thinking about Rodney Dangerfield, while I was watching this movie, I was like 'at least he's not Sam Kinison'. Shortly afterwards, here comes Sam Kinison with a little appearance as the history teacher. Now Sam Kinison is a guy I have never found funny. I just think his gimmick of constantly yelling disguised the fact that, really, he wasn't a very funny guy. Same thing with Dangerfield, though, in that Sam definitely has a larger-than-life personality and presence. I mean, with the guy constantly yelling in your ear, he'd almost have to draw attention to himself. But I just never found him funny or entertaining. He was just annoying. But, and once again like Dangerfield, in small, contained and tightly-scripted doses, I think his gimmick could work. And, surprisingly, his cameo as a quick to anger history teacher works within this context. It's probably the funniest thing in the entire movie. So, honestly, this surprises me from a man I've always thought was unfunny. That's not to say that I am gonna seek out his comedy specials because, again, I just mentioned that it's better in small doses. Regardless, it's an enjoyable appearance nonetheless. This is very much an 80s movie in look, style, music (duh), fashion, Burt Young, etc, etc, etc. I think that adds a little bit to the proceedings. Do I really need to go over the narrative? Rodney Dangerfield, a successful businessman, buys his way into this college after his son threatens to drop out. Hilarity ensues? That's all you need and that's all this movie really even cares to do with its narrative. Thornton (Rodney) pays off his employees in order to do his reports for him, he slacks off, he parties, he has sex with one of his teachers, which is interesting in that could be lead to a conflict of interest or favoritism, but that is never explored in the slightest. Nothing is mentioned about the ethics of this either too, which shouldn't surprise me. Thing is that they're not even having a secret relationship, pretty much everyone knows about it. It's just odd. I guess I shouldn't think about it too much, it's a goofy comedy starring Rodney Dangerfield, it's not a Daniel Day-Lewis drama. Diving is a big part of the movie, the climax is this big triple lindy dive, you've probably seen the scene where Thornton jumps from diving board to diving board in a preposterous scene. Well, the diving sections are really bad. Not bad because they're poorly shot or anything, just because of the fact that the divers do not resemble the people they're actually playing. Early on, Dangerfield does a dive and they film the diver from behind and this fucker had a piece on that went flying upwards (it didn't fall off) as he was diving into the pool. It's laughable because you can see parts of his bald spot, yet Rodney Dangerfield isn't bald. Couldn't you literally find anyone else with hair and just color their hair like Rodney's??? Is that too difficult? William Zabka, perennial 80s douchebag, plays perennial 80s douchebag here and, once again, his dive scenes are met with some really bad wigs. Just, in general, the dive meets which, as I mentioned, are a big part of the movie and its ending, leads to some unintentionally bad (and hilarious) moments. Let's see, what else am I forgetting? Oh yea, there's a completely unbelievable romance between Valerie and Jason (Thornton's son), because why not? Every 80s movie like this needs some sort of romance, and why not take someone who's as plain as the paint on my white wall, Keith Gordon, and match him up with gorgeous Terry Farrell. I suppose that's not fair to say, because the unbelievable part isn't that Valerie is way out of Jason's league, it's just everything else. They spend very little time together, they don't talk much and, at the end of the movie, they reveal they're in love with each other. What??? Could you MAYBE have put in a little bit more effort than that, my dudes??? Is that too hard to do? Or did having to go back and rely on Dangerfield's shtick get in the way too much? I don't know, perhaps I'm being unfair. Even with all of that, I still found this be a pretty decent little movie. It's not like it's bad in the slightest, but I just didn't find myself laughing at much of what's going on here. This was just an outlet for Rodney Dangerfield to do his shtick and everything else was written around that. As much as I'm down on Dangerfield's repetitive humor, this was still a perfectly decent movie. It's not good, but it's decent. Others who enjoy his style of comedy will like this far more than I did. And that's perfectly fine with me, everyone deserves to have a movie that's catered specifically to them. This wasn't for me, but I didn't entirely hate my time with it either.
It’s been ages since I first saw Back to School, and I naturally assumed that there was a lot of nostalgia propping this one up for me. I was surprised to find that it is still an entertaining comedy. The premise is ridiculous, but it’s intended to be. That’s one of the things I like about Back to School, it knows the kind of movie it is, so there’s no attempt at false gravitas. The movie is fast-paced and doesn’t leave any moment hanging for too long, which is probably for the best. These aren’t the kind of jokes that you want to linger on, just hit them rapid fire and move on. It also surprised me that, even though it bounces around a lot, the story still holds together well. The core relationship of father and son is what makes it work, and I thought Rodney Dangerfield and Keith Gordon did a great job of filling those roles. It felt like these guys loved each other, and had a strong bond that could survive even the difficult times they face. The comedy is solid in Back to School, and it still makes me laugh today. Rodney Dangerfield has some superb one-liners, and utilizes innuendo better than most other comedians. Robert Downey, Jr. is another hilarious character, who had a limited number of scenes, but all of them worked to make me laugh. Sure, some of Dangerfield’s lecherous behavior can be a bit disconcerting, particularly because the girls are pretty young for him. What’s nice is, while at times you’re expected to laugh at these moments, the story makes it clear this is bad behavior. He sees that he has been misguided when confronted by the real love interest. I don’t love Sally Kellerman in that role, but at least she is a contrast to the model types that he is spending his time with before her. Back to School is not a great movie, but it is a lot fun, and I was delighted to find that it is more mature and effective than puerile films like Animal House.
I wanted to rate it so much lower but every time it comes on, I stop and watch! Not a big fan of Rodney but the movie itself is comforting! It's a little funny, a little heartfelt, and it's a movie you can relax and watch without any thought
"It's a jungle out there. You gotta look out for number one. Just don't step in number two!" - Thornton
Hilarious movie. Rodney Dangerfield is great!!