One Crazy Summer | Chicago Reader

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Savage Steve Holland's bright, occasionally imbecilic teen comedy about a budding cartoonist-designer (John Cusack) who finds summer romance and adventure on Nantucket Island. Not a bad film, and certainly more polished than Holland's Better Off Dead debut, though it's marred by unevenness and the director's ineradicable penchant for infantile clowning (think Three Stooges, think Soupy Sales and worse). What Holland does extremely well, though, is apply his animator's skills to live-action logistics (the animated sequences have some of the look and feel of 30s Fleischer), and his visual gag setups frequently seem sharper and less self-conscious than the more heralded work of Airplane!'s Abrahams, Zucker, and Zucker. But behind all the foolery is a note of sexual hysteria and frustration (the bonded ineptitude of males, the inaccessible bunnyness of females) that doesn't settle well: Holland seems more comfortable with his “step on a crack and break your back” pigtailers than with the more dangerously nubile members of the cast. With Demi Moore, Curtis Armstrong, William Hickey, and Bobcat Goldthwait.

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