Summer School (1987)
November 30, 2022 10:20 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] Apathetic gym teacher Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) is ready to take the summer off in Hawaii, but he's forced to either teach summer-school English or risk losing his tenure. Now he's stuck teaching a group of unmotivated students as disappointed to be stuck in school over the summer as he is. But with the help of a friendly history teacher (Kirstie Alley), Shoop is at least learning how to act the part of supportive mentor and perhaps even learning something about himself as well.

Also starring Courtney Thorne-Smith, Dean Cameron, Gary Riley, Shawnee Smith, Fabiana Udenio, Ken Olandt, Robin Thomas, Kelly Jo Minter.

Directed by Carl Reiner. Screenplay by Jeff Franklin. Music by Danny Elfman.

56% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Currently streaming in the US on Starz. Also available for digital rental in the US on multiple outlets. JustWatch listing.

Today, I'm going to be posting six 80's teen comedies that seemed to constantly be playing on cable back in the day.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was convinced upon seeing this that Dave and Chainsaw, the two oddballs who love horror movies, were the coolest people who had ever lived.

Feel free to draw your own lines to my eventual tastes from there.

Also... in having both Shawnee Smith and Kelly Jo Minter, this movie has some serious scream queen cred.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:38 AM on November 30, 2022 [4 favorites]

It's been a while, but if I remember correctly, there's a student with a big crush on Harmon, and while he helps her out (maybe even lets her stay at his place?), he is pretty insistent on keeping things non-romantic. Is that the case? If so, that's pretty decent for an 80s movie, since they had a tendency to go all AH-OOOGA! over sexy teenage girls.

And yeah, Dave & Chainsaw were pretty cool.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:20 AM on November 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yep, that's the Courtney Thorne-Smith character.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:23 AM on November 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes, Dave and Chainsaw were very cool. I remember this as being a very sweet movie. And Fabiana Udenio. Wow.
posted by conifer at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2022

that's pretty decent for an 80s movie

Yeah, Harmon stuck with the totally age-appropriate Kirstie Alley.

I'm irrationally fond of this movie.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2022

I remember Carl Reiner's dvd commentary track for this movie being fun. The only bit I actually remember is during the scene where Shoop is sharing peanut butter with his dog, where Harmon keeps scooping it out of the jar with his finger licking it off or letting the dog lick it off, in a continuous take without wiping off the dog slobber. Reiner said it was Harmon's idea. Such a perfect "only a dog person would do that" bit of business.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:04 AM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Man, I love this movie.
It's light-hearted, it doesn't drag, it's just fun.

I know that Mark Harmon is rolling in that NCIS money, but he's got some comedy chops that he doesn't exercise enough.

Also, in my head canon, Jerome (the guy who goes to the bathroom for the entire semester then scores the highest on the test) parlayed that into a scholarship for the championship winning Fightin' Armadillos.
posted by madajb at 10:22 PM on December 3, 2022

I vaguely recall some essays on the role this film played in destigmatizing horror movie fans.

(This series of posts gives me feels of lazy high-school weekend cable tv. Nothing I'd go out of my way to watch, but just whatever was on.)
posted by cheshyre at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

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