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Parents' Guide to

The Sure Thing

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

1980s teen-sex comedy that actually has an IQ.

Movie PG-13 1985 95 minutes
The Sure Thing Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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THE SURE THING premiered during an epidemic of crude teen-sex comedies inspired by Porky's but was embraced by critics as an uncommonly well-written and perceptive romantic comedy. Rising above the basic premise about a hormonal teen male's quest for easy sex, this had smart dialogue and multi-dimensional main characters, better-drawn than many bedroom farces centered on "grownup" relationships. Wonderfully played by Cusack, Gib may be a hedonistic type who believes in living for the moment, but he comes to value the straitlaced Alison, more so than his "sure thing" date (Nicolette Sheridan's character isn't even given a name). This is a rare movie of its type in that you sense that actual studying happens at a university, not just sleeping around and intrigue. Still, parents should be aware of the overarching themes of pre-marital sexual dalliances as an unquestioned rite of passage.

To appreciate The Sure Thing all the more, compare-contrast with the later Sex Drive, which used a near-identical road-trip concept mainly for R-rated bad-taste gags and body-function humiliation.

Movie Details

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