The Secret of My Success (1987) 3.14/5 (5)


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Rating: The Good – 64.4
Genre: Comedy
Duration: 111 mins
Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Helen Slater, Richard Jordan

A big slice of 80’s nostalgia has bright eyed Michael J. Fox moving to the big city intent on making his fortune. Stuck in the mail room of his uncle’s corporation, he assumes the role of an executive, gets involved with his uncle’s wife and his mistress, and battles a hostile takeover. It’s the type of wacky plot you’d expect from such a vehicle but thanks to great casting and fun directing, it survives the inevitably lame jokes that were a hazard of the era (after all, this was the period of burgeoning pop culture references). Fox was at the height of his powers and in full-on cheeky charm mode. The arch scene-stealer himself, Richard Jordan, is delightfully lecherous as his uncle, Helen Slater is the softly lit 1980’s feminine ideal, while Margaret Whitton has a blast as the insatiable “Aunt Vera”. Of course, these comedies were a dime a dozen in the late 80’s but few had such a complementary cast of talented actors. Moreover, director Herbert Ross keeps them busy with one elaborate not to mention energetic comedy set piece after another. Whether it’s Fox speed-changing from mailman to executive, generally evading detection, or whether it’s the four main players tiptoeing from one bedroom to another in pursuit of a midnight rendezvous, you’ll find yourself smiling along for the duration. More than that, if you grew up on these movies, the whole thing immerses you in a warm hazy nostalgia that’s simply irresistible.

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