Summer School (1987) – Encore Review


“Can I call my folks and tell them I won’t be coming home… ever? ” – Chainsaw

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in ’87. cable, video, 21 Nov 2015 and 10 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A high school gym teacher is forced to teach summer school to a band of students even though all of them (including the teacher) would prefer to be enjoying fun in the sun.

My Take on it – This is another of my favorite silly  but very enjoyable films from the 80’s that I saw so often as a kid.

The story and premise are quite fun to watch unfold and tat has much to do with the very unique performance by Mark Harmon.

He isn’t the kind of actor one would automatically assume could do comedy so well especially given the fact that his career as largely been playing straight laced characters.

Despite this, he is perfectly cast in this role and make things seem more believable.

The group of characters in this film is quite eclectic and they all have something unique to add to the story and the atmosphere of it all.

The plot does go into some very far fetched scenarios yet finds a way to stayed anchored despite this largely due to the charm of it all.

The message of the film about finding unique and innovative way to teach unmotivated students is great even if sometimes things goes slightly too far.

Harmon has great chemistry with all of his co-stars but especially shines in the scenes with Kirstie Alley who plays a fellow teacher and potential love interest.

Bottom Line – Really fun film that works so well largely due to the performance of Harmon which is so different from the straight laced kind of characters that he is known for playing even after 33 years. The film has a very eclectic group of characters who help add so much to the atmosphere of the story. Things get a bit far fetched at certain points but that only adds to the charm of things along the way. Really like the premise of finding ways to teach unmotivated students by using life as a tool.  Harmon has great chemsiry with all of the students and is especially great with Alley as his potential love interest. Recommended

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The casting of Mark Harmon in the lead major role was the idea of director Carl Reiner. Reiner has said: “We originally discussed having a major comedian for the role. However Mark impressed me very much in the mini-series The Deliberate Stranger (1986) in which he portrayed convicted murderer Ted Bundy. When I saw him being interviewed on a news program, he was so personable and had such a winning smile that it was clear he would be well suited for the role of our gym-coach turned instructor. And he brings surprising depth to the character”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “Summer School (1987) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1987 | MovieRob

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