Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Jacqueline Bisset
Director: Lewis John Carlino
Running Time: 98 mins
Class is an American film about a teenager who joins a private school, and after getting through the various humiliations of being a new kid, finds himself the talk of the town after he spends a night with an older woman. However, it soon emerges that that woman isn’t exactly who he expected.
1980s teen comedies are often a formality, and that’s pretty much the case with Class. Despite starting with a good sense of humour, the film eventually loses its way into becoming overly dramatic and focuses on teen angst. Whilst its performances aren’t that bad, and I had fun early on, I was disappointed to see the film miss the mark when it came to following through on an entertaining premise.
Let’s start on the bright side, with the performances. In his debut feature, Andrew McCarthy is a pretty good protagonist. Surprisingly likable for the generic teen character he plays, he makes a lot of the film’s best humour work really well, and helped me to have as much fun as possible when everything’s a lot more comical.
McCarthy also has some great chemistry with Rob Lowe. Not too far flung from the stereotypical dashing bad guy role he came to play in the 90s, Lowe is really entertaining to watch from start to finish, and particularly in the first act, gets the ball rolling with a hugely energetic performance to complement the initially nervous McCarthy.
As far as the film’s comedy goes, it’s not all that bad. When it’s trying to be funny, it generally works pretty well, and although I wasn’t laughing my socks off, I was having good, simple fun with Class. Mostly in its more farcical first act, the film is perfectly content to point the finger at teenage boys getting into all sorts of trouble, but there are moments later on that work well to make you chuckle, which was good to see.
The main issue that I have with the film is that its story doesn’t allow for a consistently funny watch. As I said, 1980s teen comedies aren’t the most unpredictable or varied films you’ll ever see, so I generally expect to see a little more focus of making you laugh than a generic teen angst-centred drama.
Unfortunately, as this film goes on, we begin to lose that degree of farcical humour that made the first act genuinely enjoyable. The moment the older woman’s true identity is revealed is a good laugh, but that’s about it, and we eventually end up with a somewhat less interesting story about the teenagers’ own emotions and feelings, something that I hadn’t really been interested in early on, and wasn’t looking to get more into.
That said, there is still some fun that can be had with Class. Its more comedic and light-hearted stages are properly entertaining, and with some great performances, there’s often a lot to chuckle at. However, its story just isn’t that interesting, and as we get more and more focused on the characters than the comedy, it starts to lose its way, which was a disappointment to me, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.9.