The Pick-Up Artist (1987)


“Did anyone ever tell you that you have the face of a Botticelli and the body of a Degas? ” – Jack Jericho

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Cable in the 80’s and 2 Jun 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A womanizer falls in love with a women who is trying to help her father get out of debt from the mafia.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing back when it was on cable in the 80’s yet I didn’t recall anything about it besides the fact that it had two teen stars in the lead roles.

Unfortunately, this is a really boring movie that moves along at a snail’s pace.

Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald are both great actors yet they have no chemistry together in this film which makes it really difficult to root for them or even care about what happens to them.

The story itself is a bit too unrealistic and that also hurts things a bit too much.

Dennis Hopper has a small yet integral role in this film and despite the fact that he usually shines in all of his roles, his character doesn’t have enough to do here and that actually makes it quite disappointing to watch him in this film.

Bottom Line – Pretty boring film that moves along far too slowly for its own good. Downey Jr. and Ringwald are both great actors yet they have no chemistry together in this film at all.  The story itself is a bit too far fetched and doesn’t let us really care about what happens along the way.  Hopper is always great in films but his character isn’t given enough to do here which makes it even more disappointing to see him on screen.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Robert Downey, Jr. has said of this movie at the “Robert Downey, Jr. Film Guide” website: “I thought The Pickup Artist (1987) would give me a chance to have a real career, and it didn’t turn out that way, When I was shooting the film I was running and jumping and flipping out and (James) Toback would say, ‘Okay, that was great. Let’s try another. Take ninety!’ The press kept asking me about legal and moral issues. I’m like, ‘Come on, man, I just hope it does well at the box-office.’ Of course it’s a sexually irresponsible film, but if AIDS had happened six months later, maybe the film would have made more than six bucks. Everyone thought that film must have had heavy sex scenes that were cut. Molly (Ringwald) and I only kissed once in the movie. Well, actually, we kissed like forty times for the one scene. That was because Warren Beatty was helping Toback. Beatty’s really knowledgeable in a lot of areas, especially f*cking. Especially kissing and making actors do something forty times, Toback used a lot of humor to get the best from us. After a take, he might tell me, ‘You suck’, and I could laugh and agree. We were doing a scene where Molly’s character is walking away from me, and she drops a bottle of antacid. I have to pick it up before she can get it and say, ‘God, is there something wrong with your stomach?’ She has ulcers because of all the stuff going on with gambling. There’s usually this understood thing between actors, that if something has to happen in a scene, we help each other make it happen. But while we were doing it, she dropped the bottle and I went to pick it up. But she picked it up before I did, and the scene was over. What she was saying was, ‘Listen, if you’re really going to be in the moment, you’ve got to get it before I can.’ It was just a really ballsy thing to do. It was probably one of the more important lessons I learned, especially because it’s so easy to be desensitized and wish to be in the station wagon going home.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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One thought on “The Pick-Up Artist (1987)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1987 | MovieRob

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