Hurry Up, Or I’ll Be 30 (1973)

“What’s the matter, Georgie?” I first came across this hidden treasure at a video store in the late ‘80s – the VHS cover featured this cheesy artwork of some horny dude sitting in front of a birthday cake and dreaming of a hot chick (see above). So I thought it was just another dumb teen comedy (but of course I rented it anyway!). However, I was pleasantly surprised by this entertaining (and extremely low-budget!) little slice-of-life comedy directed by Joseph Jacoby that involves “George Trapani” (a perfectly cast John Lefkowitz), a total loser who works a dead-end job in his father’s failing printing business in Brooklyn, New York. About to turn 30, George starts to seriously question the direction of his life and things actually begin to look up when he (improbably!) hooks up with an attractive waitress/aspiring actress named “Jackie Tice” (Linda De Coff). In one of his first roles, Danny DeVito is hilarious as “Petey,” George’s deadbeat buddy who works in a car wash and berates all the older customers. When George starts distancing himself from his former pals, Petey remarks, “I don’t know what’s gettin’ into that guy lately. He don’t like doin’ nothin’ no more. No snatch, no pinball, no poker, no nothin’ . . . I mean you gotta live a little once in awhile, right . . .” The excellent cast also includes Maureen Byrnes as “Flo,” Frank P. Quinn as sleazy film producer “Mark Lossier,” Ronald Anton as George’s immature younger brother “Vince,” Steve Inwood as “Tony,” David Kirk as George’s grouchy father and Selma Rogoff as George’s mother. Highlights include the opening scene when George’s two dipshit buddies are trying futilely to pick up some neighborhood “chicks,” George at the singles bar attempting desperately to order a drink, the infamous “audition” in the abandoned building, George getting mistaken for a bartender at the “hip” party and George showing up at Flo’s (donning a ridiculous wig and oversized sunglasses) only to find Petey heading out of her apartment. The film’s ending is truly depressing. Watch out for a pirated version of the film that may still be in circulation titled I Am Waiting No More (with a photo of DeVito on the cover even though he appears in the movie for about 10 minutes at the most!) and the tagline: Over Thirty … Overweight … Over the Hill … and Still Over Confident.” You will never find Hurry Up, or I’ll Be 30 on TV or on DVD so your best bet is to splurge for a used VHS copy on Amazon for about $2.99 (I still have my VHS copy!). Hurry Up, or I’ll Be 30 would make a good double feature with Marty (1955). One other thing, I’ve always wondered what happened to the cast of this movie (besides DeVito of course). For instance, Lefkowitz appeared as “Deputy Bert” in a 1978 comedy called The Great Bank Hoax (also directed by Jacoby) but that seems to be his only other acting credit. What the hell ever happened to John Lefkowitz so many years ago? According to IMDb, Kirk reportedly appeared in Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983) as “Red Neck #1.”

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