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Hiding Out (1987)

aka Hiding Out

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 98 mins · English · PG-13 (USA)

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Unbelievable, but fun anyway.

Hiding Out is the kind of contradictory film that could only exist in the 80s. In the beginning, it’s a serious tale about Andrew Morenski (John Cryer), a twentysomething Boston banker on the run from mob business associates, yet midway through it transforms into a comedy about his attempt to hide out as a high school student. These wildly different narrative elements and their respective tones shouldn’t work as a whole, but they do. The glue holding these pieces together are the movie’s charming leading man John Cryer and its uniquely 80s sensibilities. Cryer gives Andrew a grounded, likable persona and he deftly handles the picture’s lighthearted humor. Also, director Bob Giraldi knows just when to employ 80s clichés, like the montage, to tell this story and if you look closely, writers Joe Menosky and Jeff Rothberg present a subtle, fascinating commentary on yuppie greed in their screenplay.

The romance that Andrew develops with a high schooler (Annabeth Gish), makes the ...(more)

Hiding Out is the kind of contradictory film that could only exist in the 80s. In the beginning, it’s a serious tale about Andrew Morenski (John Cryer), a twentysomething Boston banker on the run from mob business associates, yet midway through it transforms into a comedy about his attempt to hide out as a high school student. These wildly different narrative elements and their respective tones shouldn’t work as a whole, but they do. The glue holding these pieces together are the movie’s charming leading man John Cryer and its uniquely 80s sensibilities. Cryer gives Andrew a grounded, likable persona and he deftly handles the picture’s lighthearted humor. Also, director Bob Giraldi knows just when to employ 80s clichés, like the montage, to tell this story and if you look closely, writers Joe Menosky and Jeff Rothberg present a subtle, fascinating commentary on yuppie greed in their screenplay.

The romance that Andrew develops with a high schooler (Annabeth Gish), makes the picture hard to watch as a modern viewer because it seems sleazy to root for a much older guy pursuing such a young woman. Thankfully though, the film handles their budding relationship tastefully to prevent you from actually feeling gross. This romance, combined with its premise of a twentysomething character back in high school is unbelievable, especially since Andrew arrives and rises to instant popularity as a serious contender for class president. The incompetence of the film’s bumbling bad guys and police who fail to find Andrew for a while is farfetched as well. Hiding Out’s setup is a tough sell, however its charismatic star, its carefree humor, and its overall 80s-ness make up for that so it’s an enjoyable experience anyway. (less)

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Cast:

No_movie_poster
Small Patrick Morenski
Small Ryan Campbell
No_movie_poster Kevin O'Roarke
Small Bakey
No_movie_poster Gertrude
Small Andrew Morenski / Max Hauser
Small

Crew:

No_movie_poster Jeff Rothberg Producer
No_movie_poster Bob Giraldi Director
No_movie_poster Jeff Rothberg Writer

Plot:

Revealed shortly into the movie, Andrew Morenski (Cryer) and two others, all stockbrokers, have managed to pass bogus bonds for a mobster awaiting trial. After one night at a bar, one of the stockbrokers is killed in his home. The next morning, the FBI take the other two into protective custody. Convincing his FBI hosts that he wants breakfast and out of the safe house, Andrew and his FBI bodyguards are followed by hitmen hired to eliminate them. One of the FBI bodyguards is killed in a diner, the other injured, and Andrew flees the scene. While running from the hitmen, he manages to board a train and temporarily escapes.

Needing a safe place to hide, Andrew, under disguise, attempts to contact his cousin (played by Keith Coogan) and his aunt (portrayed by Cryer's real-life mother), arranging to meet the latter at the high school at which she works as a nurse. While sitting in the nurse's office, he impulsively opts to enroll, taking the name of Maxwell Hauser (off of a Maxwell House coffee can) and begin high school all over again. He pulls his cousin, Patrick, aside and reveals himself, eventually using Patrick's house to sleep in, unbeknownst to his aunt.

Not willing to take adult teachers' attitude that he is merely a high school student, Andrew becomes a hero to those tired of the school's status quo upsetting Kevin O'Roarke (played by Tim Quill), the current class president, and capturing the heart of Ryan Campbell (Annabeth Gish). During an afternoon at the local diner, he accidentally drops a birthday card meant for his grandmother (who had raised him) and it gets mailed. Later, a hitman posing as an FBI agent contacts his grandmother and sees the card and its postmark, telling him where Andrew is hiding.

One night, on the way back from a date with Ryan, Patrick stops Andrew from entering the house. FBI agents have arrived, knowing Andrew is close because of his use of an ATM card. Patrick steals his mother's keys and Andrew ends up using the high school as his refuge. He meets the school janitor, Ezzard, and shares a drink with him, revealing who he truly is. Andrew embraces the opportunity to run for class president, not knowing the election committee has already decided to rig the results in favor of Kevin.

Bored with high school, Andrew decides to drop out. During the presentation of class election results, Kevin is announced the winner. However, Kevin demands a recount, which reveals that most want Andrew as President. As Morenski starts to address the crowd, a hitman begins firing at the stage. Ezzard, watching the proceedings, manages to dispose of one of the hitmen, while the other moves up into the rafters of the gym. Andrew chases him and a spotlight is used to blind the hitman. The hitman loses his grip and falls to the gym floor below as police sirens are heard.

Images of graduation are spliced into images of Andrew taking the stand in a court against the mobster for whom he had sold the bogus bonds. After his testimony, Andrew is given a few minutes to say farewell to his grandmother before being placed in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

The last scene is of Ryan, sitting under a tree at college. Andrew, now known as Eddie Collins, appears from behind the tree and tells her he has decided to become a teacher. Morenski is reunited with Ryan as the credits roll.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2001-10-09