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Case Number 05166

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No Small Affair

Sony // 1984 // 102 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Lacey Worrell (Retired) // September 10th, 2004

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All Rise...

Judge Lacey Worrell says that there are no small affairs, just small movies about affairs.

The Charge

It won't be the last time she'll rock a younger man's world.

Opening Statement

I loved all the big frosted hair, sparkly bangle bracelets, and belted satin shirts that defined the '80s. Is it any wonder that 21st-century fashion feels kind of boring in comparison? No Small Affair gets the look of the '80s just right. Now if only we could do something about the plot.

Facts of the Case

Charles (Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men) is a 16-year-old guy dedicated to his interest in photography while at the same time distracted by his raging hormones. When by chance he takes a photo of 22-year-old Laura (Demi Moore, Ghost), Charles is instantly smitten, using his photography talents to help Laura's fledgling music career. Just as Charles begins to win her over, Laura's potential success in the music industry might spell disaster for their flirtation.

The Evidence

The opening scene of this film is actually quite good, but because No Small Affair is unable to decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama, viewers may find their level of interest dropping off after about the first 10 minutes. Moore is believable as a nightclub singer, but her bad lip-synching is a distraction.

This film has an interesting premise but is poor in its execution, a point that is underscored by the tepid love scene in the last few minutes of the film. Even a horny 16-year-old boy would be disappointed by it, despite the fact it features a sort-of topless Demi Moore. It wouldn't be until the release of the American Pie years later that hormonally overloaded young boys would find vindication in the form of Stifler's Mom, who took the idea of coming of age to a whole new level.

Look for veteran character actress Ann Wedgeworth as Charles's mother. While she's not given much to do here, she has done phenomenal work in films like Steel Magnolias and Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline. Like the late, great actor J.T. Walsh (The Negotiator), Wedgeworth is good in just about everything she does, no matter how small her part.

You may also recognize Peter Frechette, the let's-do-it-for-our-country T-Bird from Grease 2. Elizabeth Daily (frequently credited in other efforts as E.G. Daily) has gone on to amass an incredible body of voice work, including well-known fare such as Powerpuff Girls and Rugrats. A few years after No Small Affair, Cryer would go on to take on a much meatier role in the underappreciated Hiding Out, but he will be forever loved as Duckie in Pretty in Pink.

There are no special features included on this release, and the quality of the DVD transfer does not appear to be much improved from a showing on late-night network TV. Those of you who have come to enjoy Cryer's work on Two and a Half Men or who enjoyed Moore's va-va-voom comeback in 2003 may be interested in taking a look at this early work despite its inherent flaws.

Closing Statement

No Small Affair actually is a small affair. Instead, check out Demi Moore's performance in St. Elmo's Fire, one of the quintessential films of the 1980s.

The Verdict

A hung jury on a film that isn't exactly a disaster, but isn't exactly good either.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 30
Audio: 30
Extras: 0
Acting: 30
Story: 35
Judgment: 33

Special Commendations

• Bottom 100 Discs: #17

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround (French)
• English
• Japanese
• Spanish
Running Time: 102 Minutes
Release Year: 1984
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Bad
• Comedy
• Drama
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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