The Sure Thing (1985)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Though its final outcome is predictable, The Sure Thing is a charming, smartly written, and mature teen comedy featuring a breakout role for John Cusack.

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Movie Info

Director Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing is essentially It Happened One Night for the 1980s, but its lack of surprise in no way impedes its entertainment value. John Cusack plays Walter "Gib" Gibson, a self-involved college freshman who makes plans to head to California, there to touch base (and a few other things) with a "sure thing" played by Nicollette Sheridan. Likewise planning a westward journey is coed Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga), a control freak who has a wealthy, stuffy fiancé over there. Gib and Alison despise one another on sight -- so naturally, they are compelled to travel to California together. The fact that everyone in the audience knows precisely how this one will end up is inconsequential; Cusack and Zuniga deliver such engaging performances that we're pulling for them to wise up and discover one another from the very first scene. One of the best bits: the mismatched couple being bombarded with an ear-piercing rendition of "The Age of Aquarius" by their dippy traveling companions. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Sure Thing

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9)

Reiner displays a deft touch in balancing the real-life world of today's college students with the fairy tale quality of the script by Steven L. Bloom and Jonathan Roberts.

Oct 25, 2018 | Full Review…

That's the problem with "The Sure Thing." All the good lines are given to Cusack -- he's always "on," narrating his own life in the revved-up spiel of a sports announcer.

Jan 3, 2018 | Full Review…

[A] hysterically oversold mix of comic cliches from the 30s and the 80s.

Nov 6, 2009 | Full Review…

This is a likeable film that follows all of the necessary steps to engage an audience. It may not be a sure thing, but it's at least a pretty good bet.

Jun 9, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Realization may not be earth shattering, but in an era of fast food and faster sex, return to the traditional is downright refreshing.

Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

There's plenty of mileage in this pairing, even if the movie isn't going anywhere unexpected.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Sure Thing

½

John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga play university students who take a whole movie to realize they are meant for each other. The movie-going public are aware of it from the moment we see them, but these two think they despise each other. A fun 90 minutes!

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Another film that shows you that 1985 was the best year of the 80s. This movie shows you how John Cusacks character, Gib grows up, and decides that why hook up with a sure thing when the real thing was there all along. This movie is an 80s classic! I would also recommend this movie to people who want to laugh as well. :) It's a classic movie! :) I love it :) :) :) :) :) :)

Cassie Hill
Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

½

Mamma mia John Cusack was so hot in this movie! The dialogue was really snappy and I like how the ending was resolved only at the very, very last minute - screwballian, in a way. Rob Reiner was definitely in his prime in the 80s.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

A fantastic drama/comedy about true love and life. It has a good cast, and a great story. I love it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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