Porky's [1982]

Reviled by critics and embraced by the public during its initial run (1981), Porky's is interesting to watch after all these years. What holds up about this horny coming-of-age tale is remarkable. Writer/director Bob Clark has little more than sex and practical joking on his mind, and his high school seniors from Angel Beach, Florida, rapidly move from one to the other. Clark displays a sense of timing and, perhaps rarer still, a sense of male friendship--its brutalities and its bonds--that feels right, not artificial. Surprisingly, the showcase practical jokes are still funny: the Everglades encounter with Cherry Forever, the hole in the girls' shower, and Beulah Balbricker, the humongous gym teacher. The comedic set-ups and payoffs surprisingly still work. Clark's insistence on a subplot about anti-Semitism, however, still sticks out as A MESSAGE. Kim Cattrall really got her start here (although almost no one else did) as Ms. Honeywell, a.k.a. "Lassie." Clark later distanced himself from the irritating Porky's sequels and went on to make the wonderful Christmas Story, the tale of a little boy who wants a BB gun for Christmas. --Keith Simanton

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