- Movie Rating -

Hiding Out (1987)

| November 6, 1987

There is a massive “Yes!  But!” lurking in the dead center of the would-be comedy Hiding Out that throws off what few elements of the film might be working.  Here is the story of a 29-year-old Wall Street yuppie (Jon Cryer) who agrees to testify against some mobbed-up marketeers which, you might guess, puts a target on his head.  So, he takes up refuge in a suburban high school.  He ditches his beard, bleaches his hair, steals a coat from a bum and decides to hide out till the heat is off.

Okay, fine.  That’s the pitch meeting.  The “Yes! But!” comes at the moment when he tries to enroll in the high school.  He sits down with the school administrator and gives her a lot of phony information – including a phony name that he gets from the side of a coffee can (Maxwell Hauser) – and he’s in like Flynn.  This scene stopped me cold.  I know what it is like to get a kid into school.  There are records, phone calls, all manner of things that have to be in place in order for a kid to get into school.  This development does not work even on the level of comedic fantasy.  For me, it threw the rest of the movie off.

Okay.  Yes.  I’m suppose to suspend disbelief in a movie this ridiculous but in order to be invested in this story, I have to at least have some credibility to the basic plot.  I was also thrown off by Cryer’s romance with a fellow student played by Annabeth Gish.  She’s 15 and he’s 29, and she asks fundamental questions about why he doesn’t give her his phone number or his address, or tell her where he goes after school.  The nervous tension in this romance is never dealt with seriously and we cringe at the age difference and the question of why this girl doesn’t simply move on.

Hiding Out, I guess, is suppose to give us the same if-I-could-do-it-all-over-again-knowing-what-I-know-now feeling that Francis Ford Coppola achieved in Peggy Sue Got Married, but this movie isn’t interested in developing a character.  It is more interested in gimmicks and shoot-out that are not thought out, not funny and leave us asking “Yes! But!”  A comedy just shouldn’t do that.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1987) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy, Uncategorized