The Sure Thing

*****

Reviewed by: Caro Ness

This is an enchanting, gentle comedy by the incomparable Rob Reiner about a boy who wants a girl and a girl who wants a man.

John "Gib" Gibson (John Cusack) is trying to find "the sure thing", a 100 per cent safe bet. He wants a no questions asked, no strings attached, no commitment needed girl who likes to party hard.

He decides to cross America to visit his friend in California during the winter break. His pal assures him that a bikini-clad beauty, who his friend tells him is "a sure thing", will await him. The "sure thing", by the way, is played by Nicolette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives fame. The girl is Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga) who likes her men to be mature, prefers an early night to a party and wants to go to see her fiance in LA.

This utterly disparate couple, Gib a high-spirited, slobbish slacker, Alison a somewhat anally retentive, uptight, straight-laced intellectual, set off to LA together and experience the road trip from hell. But somewhere along the way their loathing turns to liking and they unexpectedly discover that they find each other's company more than tolerable. Gib teaches Daphne to just chill out, do silly things and just have fun and she teaches him the difference between pretending to care and really doing so.

This was Rob Reiner's second feature film, after Spinal Tap, and it's a film to treasure. The plot doesn't hold any shocking twists or turns, but the dialogue between the central characters zings along and gives the film its heart, not to mention some truly quotable gems! The soundtrack is hard to resist too, with the likes of The Cars, Huey Lewis and The News and Rod Stewart.

I have always found John Cusack eminently likeable, no matter what film he is in and he one of the most underrated actors of his generation. There is a crumpled charm to his persona that is hard to resist and in this film he gives a wonderfully real and honest performance.

Zuniga is very good too. She has a poise and presence and it's hard to imagine why we haven't seen more of her in movies since. The acting is effortless; the leads make us care for their characters and we end up rooting for both of them, willing the two of them into each other's arms. If you're looking for a funny, charming, endearing, hilarious romantic comedy you will enjoy this movie; it is as near a sure thing as you can get.

Reviewed on: 23 Aug 2005
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A mismatched couple find love on a comic roadtrip.
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Director: Rob Reiner

Writer: Steven L Bloom, Jonathan Roberts

Starring: John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Anthony Edwards, Viveca Lindfors and Tim Robbins

Year: 1985

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: USA

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