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Risky Business: On Growing Up and Making a Profit

February 14, 2009

Iconic Tom Cruise Dancing in Underwear (like you haven’t done this)

My friend told me the other day that I reminded her of Tom Cruise from Risky Business.  I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not.  I watched the movie recently and was primarily struck my the timelessness of the movie.  It’s probably the best male coming of age movie ever.  It’s got it all: girls, money, drugs, a father’s wrecked Porsche.  The film also deals with the theme of American capitalism.  It comments on the empowerment and excitement a capitalist feels after a major breakthrough, as well as the potential dark side of selfishness, materialism, and human exploitation when abused.

My favorite scene in the movie is toward the beginning when Miles tells an insecure Joel (Cruise):

“Every now and then say ‘What the f**k.’  What the f**k gives you freedom.  Freedom brings opportunity.  Opportunity makes your future. “

Good piece of advice from an 18 year old fictional character.  Sometimes you need to just go for it.  You can play it safe when you’re dead. Although after following Miles’ advice, Cruise destroys his father’s car, falls into a prostitution business, and nearly loses his family’s possessions.  He also recovers his losses, has an enormous adventure, develops a stronger self-concept, earns admission to Princeton, and gets a taste of adult life and adult responsibility through running a business and earning a profit.  As Joel says at the close of the movie:

“My name is Joel Goodwin.  I deal in human fulfillment.  I grossed over 8,000 dollars in one night.  Time of your life, kid.”

Spoken like a true capitalist.  Solid movie.  Highly recommended.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ivan permalink
    February 16, 2009 9:05 pm

    I’m concerned that a guy dancing in his “tighty whiteys” is the first thing i see on your blog… what the F*&!!!?

  2. elliottgarlock permalink*
    February 16, 2009 11:54 pm

    Hey Ivan,

    LOL. Yeah, I debated for about 30 seconds whether or not to post on Risky Business. Have you seen the movie? I’d guess you’d like it.

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