Losin’ It (1983)

“We’re going to be as crude as we want, as filthy as we want and as gross as we want!” Set in Los Angeles in 1965, Losin’ It depicts three horny high school teenagers—“Woody” (Tom Cruise), “Spider” (John Stockwell) and “Dave” (Jackie Earle Haley), who get more than they bargained for when they pile into a car and head over the border to Tijuana, Mexico, in a futile attempt to get laid. They also bring along Dave’s little brother “Wendell the Wimp” (John P. Navin Jr.) who is more interested in scoring some fireworks! In addition, Shelley Long (Cheers) totally embarrasses herself as an uptight housewife named “Kathy” who hitches a ride with the boys on her way to get a quickie Mexican divorce after she discovers her husband has been cheating on her. While Cruise simply fills the role, Haley steals the show as the desperate geek who tries to get his hands on some of the mythical aphrodisiac “Spanish Fly” (he ends up getting ripped off with some aspirin). The scene where Dave, who dresses like his idol, Frank Sinatra, tries to explain “Spanish Fly” to the pharmacist is totally hilarious! Meanwhile, Spider embarks on a quest to find a “donkey show,” while Woody hooks up with Kathy. Also look for Henry Darrow as the pissed-off Tijuana sheriff and Joe Spinell as a border patrolman. Losin’ It was directed by Curtis Hanson, who would move on to significantly better projects such as L.A. Confidential (1997) and Wonder Boys (2000). As for Cruise, he remembered the whole experience as “a terrible time in my life.” Definitely not for all tastes but if you enjoy raunchy teen comedies from the 1980s, you should view this thing at least once! In fact, Losin’ It would make a nice double feature with The Last American Virgin (1983). Believe it or not, Navin uttered the first lines—“How about a beer, chief?”—as he gets busted by “Sam” (Ted Danson) for using a fake ID in the first episode of Cheers titled “Give Me a Ring Sometime,” which premiered on September 30, 1982.

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