336. Back to School

Movie: Back to School

Release Date: June 13, 1986

Director: Alan Metter

Starring: Rodney Dangerfield, Sally Kellerman, Burt Young, Keith Gordon, Adrienne Barbeau, Robert Downey Jr., Sam Kinison, Ned Beatty.

Tag Lines: “Registration starts Friday, June 13, at theaters everywhere.”

Relevance: I know that I didn’t see ‘Back to School’ in theaters. I’m not a huge fan of Rodney Dangerfield as an actor, basically because he wasn’t. He was a stand-up comedian that acted in movies, always playing the same type of character. He was the Jerry Seinfeld of that generation. And not that there is anything wrong with that (referential pun intended). I love Jerry, his show and his comedy a lot, I just don’t think he is a great actor. I felt the same way about Rodney.

The movie, however, became one of my favorites as a teenager. I can’t remember if it was a Blockbuster rental like many of the movies in the 1980’s, but even if it was, it played a lot on HBO. And every time it was on, I watched it. And laughed.

This is what my mom would call a “silly” movie. Which means I never watched it with her. She liked comedies, but not if they were “silly.” She would just smile and say, “That’s silly” and leave the room. My dad on the other hand is a “silly” movie fan for sure, as am I. The sillier the movie, the more we would laugh. This movie made my dad laugh a lot, to the point of tears. And as a child, that always made me laugh even more.

Today’s Thoughts: How can you not laugh at this silly movie? I mean, basically it is the stand-up of Rodney Dangerfield. And even if you are not a fan of his acting (like me), he still made me laugh when he was doing his shtick. Just take a look at these lines from the movie:

“The football team at my high school, they were tough. After they sacked the quarterback, they went after his family.”

“The high school I went to, they asked a kid to prove the law of gravity, he threw the teacher out the window!”

“I think I’m attracted to teachers. Yeah, I took out an English teacher. That didn’t work out at all. I sent her a love letter… She corrected it!”

“Oh, we were doomed from the start. I’m an Earth sign. She’s a Water sign. Together, we made mud.”

“With the shape I’m in you could donate my body to science fiction.”

“Ya gotta look out for number one… and don’t step in number two!”

That’s silly yet funny stuff! And I laughed out loud many times when I watched ‘Back to School’ again today. It’s not an Oscar winner, it doesn’t star an acclaimed actor (technically Robert Downey, Jr isn’t the star), but that doesn’t mean it still can’t entertain you, make you smile, make you laugh and end up on a list of your favorite and most influential movies.

‘Cause here it is!

Awards: American Comedy Award for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture, Rodney Dangerfield (nomination).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Hulu, DVD Availability.


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