The second on the list of films I watched New Year’s Eve was a netflix rental of something I had never seen and only vaguely heard of, it was a movie called The Pick-Up Artist starring Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald.
The Pick-Up Artist isn’t so much a description of the story as the main character Jack Jericho in a nutshell. Jack is a ladies man who actually practices pick-up lines in the mirror and prides himself on his ability to score beautiful women. He keeps track of them on a piece of notebook paper he carries in his back pocket. One day Jack hits on Randy and they have a tryst, when she later blows him off Jack becomes obsessed with tracking down Randy and proving to her that he is the man for her.
I am really glad the trailer for the film is on the DVD because I got to see just how great the false advertising was. This movie is billed as a romantic comedy between Ringwald and Downey but in reality it’s a convoluted love story that involves Dennis Hopper as Randy’s drunk father who owes money to the mob and Randy attempting to pay off his debt.
Seeing Downey in this movie was a kick. This movie was down before he added the Jr. to his name and he couldn’t be more than about twenty. Perhaps it is merely the pure youthfulness that surrounded him in this movie, but he almost seemed to not be able to fit into the chauvinistic role he was written. He is still just as darn entertaining to watch as ever, even in a mediocre movie.
In the end I really didn’t enjoy The Pick-Up Artist as a movie. I did think it was merely entertaining just because the film itself was so strange; once we were half way through the movie we had to keep watching just because we couldn’t figure out where the film was going or what absurd means it would take to get there. I watched this film start to finish and there are still plot points that I don’t understand, but I think that this is what happens when you watch a cheesy melodrama from 1987.
Director & Writer: James Toback
Jack Jericho: Robert Downey Jr.
Randy Jensen: Molly Ringwald
Flash Jensen: Dennis Hopper
Phil Harper: Danny Aiello
Alonzo Scolara: Harvey Keitel
Jack Jericho: Did anyone ever tell you you're too good to be true?
Randy Jensen: No only that I'm too truthful to be good.