HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
   
 
Newest Articles
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
   
 
  Secret Admirer S.W.A.L.K.Buy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: David Greenwalt
Stars: C. Thomas Howell, Lori Loughlin, Kelly Preston, Dee Wallace, Cliff De Young, Leigh Taylor-Young, Fred Ward, Casey Siemaszko, Geoffrey Blake, Rodney Pearson, Courtney Gains, J.J. Cohen, Scott McGinnis, Corey Haim, Michael Menzies
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Someone has written Michael (C. Thomas Howell) a letter, and she has placed it inside his locker at school. He doesn't even notice it, however, and grabs it along with a lot of other detritus and pushes it into a bin, then at the last moment realises it might be important, and puts the letter to one side, obviously not important enough to investigate straight away. Then he joins his friends outside, Toni (Lori Loughlin) who has been chatting to Debbie (Kelly Preston), the girl he secretly has a crush on. But she is whisked away by her college boyfriend Steve (Scott McGinnis) in his sports car, whereupon Michael is whisked away in turn by his mates in the van belonging to Roger (Casey Siemaszko). However, they open the letter before he does...

Secret Admirer wasn't the highest profile of teen movies out of Hollywood, and it wasn't the best by any means, but co-writer (with Jim Kouf) and director David Greenwalt (later a successful television producer) did manage by dint of a plot that came across like an updating of a French farce to make a minor impact in the overstuffed landscape of the genre that was the nineteen-eighties. Fair enough, it still wasn't fall down hilarious, but there were enough bright spots stemming from characters misunderstanding other characters to engender an atmosphere of lightly comical foolishness spread around some largely likeable folks for an hour and a half. Some were easier to get along with than others, but this was a romance as well, which was probably the most frustrating aspect.

Even that was only because you wanted to give selected players in this runaround a shake to make them see sense, especially Michael who cannot perceive that the girl he should be with is staring him in the face, and it sure isn't the snobby, vapid Debbie. Indeed, although there's a supposed secrecy, as the title suggests, as to who sent him the anonymous love letter, it is plain for us to notice there's only one girl sensitive enough to have penned it, not to mention there are but two female characters of high school age (though the actresses were not, being older - actual teenager Howell must have been thanking his lucky stars) who could possibly be the culprit, unless Greenwalt was preparing to introduce a last minute addition to the cast to take the blame.

Whether he did or not you would have to watch it and find out, but that letter inspires Michael to try writing letters of his own, to Debbie, who is flattered since she doesn't know Michael is the author and would like someone a tad more sensitive than Steve to romance her. But in an unfortunate development all these affectionate missives being passed around means they fall into the wrong hands, and soon in ludicrous fashion the parents of Michael and Debbie are caught up in thinking that Michael's father (Cliff De Young) is having an affair with Debbie's mother (Leigh Taylor-Young), the tutor on his college course, while her cop dad (Fred Ward, priceless in his pissed off demeanour) gets together to commiserate with Michael's mother (Dee Wallace).

Got all that? It doesn't seem so complicated when it's unfolding, testament to the confident handling of the material. At first it appears to be the tale of a dumb jock awakening from the boorishness of himself and his peers when the realisation that somebody loves him melts his heart, and that was an element, but Greenwalt liked his characters and nobody is the real villain here, they're more victims to their own shortsightedness in not understanding what's best for them in life - or who. As if this was not seeming eighties enough, Corey Haim showed up as Howell's younger brother who helps himself to the contents of his wallet, and also has a teeth-itchingly sweet choice of breakfast (seriously, what is that sauce frequently seen squirted over food?). That said, perhaps the genuine draw here was Loughlin in possibly her best movie role, suggesting with ease Toni's grievances with falling for a chap too stupid to twig what a catch she is, though the ending begs the question "what happened next?" perhaps more than intended. Music by Jan Hammer (which keeps threatening to turn into a soft drink ad theme).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1606 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: