The Rachel Papers (1989)

The Rachel Papers (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Rachel Papers Photos

Movie Info

This youthful British comedy has dark, bitter undertones and is based on a Martin Amis novel. The tale centers on a lusty Oxford student who uses his computer to devise a way to chart out future romantic liaisons in advance. It works great, but when he meets a swinging American girl who short -circuits everything, including his heart. Unfortunately, she is far more complex than she seems and their relationship is doomed. This does not keep the young man from continuing to try and it is here that the comedy comes in. Eventually he succeeds in getting her, but his elation is soon dashed as the tale takes a tragic turn towards disaster.
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
United Artists


Dexter Fletcher
as Charles Highway
Ione Skye
as Rachel Noyce
James Spader
as DeForrest
Bill Paterson
as Gordon Highway, Charles' Father
Shirley Ann Field
as Mrs. Seth-Smith
Aubrey Morris
as Sir Herbert
Nicola Kimber
as Vanessa
Michael Gambon
as Dr. Knowd, Oxford Don
Pat Keen
as Mrs. Tauber
Gina McKee
as Kathy
John Daniel McCuin
as Chris Minor
Shirley King
as Tauber Academy Assistant
Siri Neal
as Suki
Di Langford
as Charlotte Highway
Amanda Dickinson
as Peppermint Park Waitress
Joe Wreddon
as Valentine Minor
Amy Fleetwood
as Rachel's Friend
Jimmy Buchanan
as Mr. Greenchurch
Willie Ross
as Busker
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Critic Reviews for The Rachel Papers

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

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.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

The result is without dramatic or moral weight, despite Highway's contrived comeuppance, and it's impossible to care about the characters.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Captures the brash boldness of the novel, but not the literary wit. A misguided affair.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Empire Magazine

Why must film-makers always be such slaves to the lowest common denominator?

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for The Rachel Papers


***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

All except the main character are played by good actors, does that make sense? The story is realistic, but kinda boring, an the main character annoys me. Overall, it's okay.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

A very truthful look at relationships between young adults. The ending is sad and very real. I liked Skye alright, but the main character could have been played by a better actor, maybe Spader? Spader has a tiny part in this movie, he's got like one line. Overall a so-so movie.

Lisa Spader
Lisa Spader

The Rachel Papers Quotes

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