Critic Reviews



Based on 9 critic reviews provided by
It's a good character for Dangerfield, one that veers him away from the “I don't get no respect” pathos that comes too easily to him, and enough attention is paid to the minimal plot to integrate Dangerfield's classically constructed one-liners into something like a dramatic situation. This is what they mean by “a good vehicle.”
As vehicles for fat comedians who were big in the States but never exported well go, this self-proclaimed slob comedy is nearly a masterpiece and certainly much better than the comparable Revenge of the Nerds films.
In this very funny Rodney Dangerfield comedy, there has been an important shift in Rodney`s entertainment persona, a shift that has made this small film a monster hit.
The profoundly strange presence of Rodney Dangerfield triumphs over sloppy writing and lumpy editing in this sometimes raunchy farce about a middle-aged dad who joins his son as a freshman at college. The theme of father-son loyalty is attractive, and the supporting cast is strong.
This is exactly the sort of plot Marx or Fields could have appeared in. Dangerfield brings it something they might also have brought along: a certain pathos. Beneath his loud manner, under his studied obnoxiousness, there is a real need. He laughs that he may not cry.
The film is a good-natured potpourri of gags, funny bits, populist sentiment and anti-intellectualism.
The plot is suitably slight, allowing plenty of room for the barrage of jokes that roll off Dangerfield's tongue. The result is unsophisticated, unilluminating, unambitious, and hilarious.
A comedy that belongs back on the drawing board.
The most jarring casting mistake (even more jarring than the miscasting of Dangerfield) involves Keith Gordon, who plays Thornton's son. Gordon, who has shown himself to be an intense and quirky actor in such films as Christine and Dressed to Kill, is a smoldering presence in what ought to be a light, comic role. His psycho-killer eyes just don't fit here.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Back to School (1986) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews

Recently Viewed