THE SURE THING," a non-traditional teen movie, puts the brakes on the sexual revolution. It is about Getting It, but with Dignity. Leering, peeping and pawing are important, sure, but so are love, personal growth and a girl who can make It a little more meaningful by saying no.
Looks like we're headed back to the Doris Days. And that's not so bad.
"The Sure Thing" is fresh, funny, sure-fire stuff. And much of the credit for that goes to an energetic comic actor named John Cusack, who was only 17 when he made the film. Cusack, who got directer Rob Reiner's attention in "Grandview U.S.A.," plays college freshman Gib Gibson here.
Gib's a clumsy, sex-starved Ivy Leaguer with a roommate who never fails to score. Inspired by long nights in the dorm hallway to the tune of satisfied grunts behind the door, Gib goes for It. He accepts a transcontinental blind date with a Sure Thing, but on the way west, he finds the Real Thing, thereby complicating his young life immeasurably.
Daphne Zuniga costars as Alison, an unapproachable preppy who turns down his advances only to find herself caught up in a cross- country romance when both line up the same ride to the coast. Animosity turns to love en route, but it's not till about Albuquerque.
Model Nicollette Sheridan plays the Sure Thing, a pliable creature with a cottonball brain. Unlike her cinematic precursors -- the elusive Suzanne Somers in "American Graffiti," for one -- Sheridan is easy. And as any sensible girl knows, men really like a challenge. While it's plain to see that Sheridan could have gotten by with two bandaids instead of a halter top, a friend wrongly attributes Gib's loss of interest to bra size. "What's the matter? Are her breasts too small?" he asks crudely. No, but her brains are. Yikes.
Oh well, anything can happen when you mix the shy-'30s conventions with the sex-ploitation of the '70s. And that was the whole idea -- an "It Happened One Night" in the '80s, says Steven Bloom, a Rockville native who co- wrote with college chum Jonathan Roberts. Bloom says he based it on his own experiences, so what I want to know is what's his roommate's phone number?
THE SURE THING (R) -- At area theaters.