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Class (1983)
One of the earliest entries of the teen comedies that dominated 1980's cinema was a breezy campus comedy called Class that doesn't have a lot of re-watch appeal due to its predictability but does have a little more substance than a lot of the teen comedies of the period.

This is the story of Jonathan (Andrew McCarthy, in his film debut), a high school freshman who has just been accepted into a fictional prep school outside Chicago called Vernon Academy where, after a shaky start, develops a solid relationship with his roommate, Skip (Rob Lowe), the big stud on campus. When Jonathan is banned from a school dance, Skip sends Jonathan to a bar in downtown Chicago where Jonathan meets a beautiful older woman named Ellen (Jacqueline Bisset). A one night stand between the two in an elevator leads to a brief affair that comes to an abrupt end when it's revealed exactly who Ellen is.

The screenplay by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt is crafted more carefully than the average teen comedy because it takes its time establishing the relationship between Jonathan and Skip, making the reveal of exactly who Ellen is much richer. Unfortunately, said reveal is the basis of the film's appeal, which isn't nearly as effective in re-watch mode. Kouf and Greenwalt also set up a subplot in an early scene with Skip and Jonathan that seems to be superfluous at the time it happens but it is addressed during the final act. I was also impressed with the fact that the Ellen character was not just an aging tramp, but is revealed to have some serious emotional issues that the viewer doesn't see coming.

The casting of the lead roles has a dash of originality to it. Rob Lowe was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 80's whose career in the 1980's was comparable to Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling today. Instead of playing on Lowe's sex appeal, the role of Skip relies a lot on Lowe's comic timing, starting the character off as the wisecracking best friend and it had to be as refreshing for Lowe as it is for the viewer.

Director Lewis John Carlino (The Great Santini) allows the story to unfold methodically without making the film three hours long. McCarthy makes an impressive film debut as young Jonathan and the chemistry he creates with the breathtaking Bisset is surprising. A few familiar faces show up along the way in small roles like John Cusack, Alan Ruck, Virginia Madsen, Casey Siemaszko, Anna Marie Horsford, Stuart Margolin and Oscar winner Cliff Robertson as Skip's dad. The film works a lot better if you've never seen it, but there is re-watch appeal for fans of McCarthy, Bisset, and Lowe.