Career Opportunities

In a sense, John Hughes doesn’t produce movies anymore. He produces entertainment machines, and Career Opportunities has been shamelessly patched together — like Frankenstein’s monster — from bits and pieces of Home Alone and The Breakfast Club. It starts out as In the Department Store Alone, with Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley), a 21-year-old screwup who still lives with his parents, landing a job as night janitor in a huge, fluorescent-lit shoppers’ paradise that stocks everything from lingerie to firearms. Does he have to defend the store against two bumbling thieves? Absolutely! Before that, however, he’s joined by Josie (Jennifer Connelly), the beautiful town princess who ignored him in high school. They both have Problems — he’s insecure and a compulsive liar, she’s a poor little rich girl who rebels by shoplifting — and before you know it they’re pouring out their hearts to each other. In other words, it’s The Midnight Snack Club. There’s an odd fascination in seeing how blatantly Hughes is willing to cannibalize himself. What really keeps the audience watching, though, is the ridiculously gorgeous Jennifer Connelly, who has the face of Lolita and a body that… well, let’s just say Russ Meyer would have cast her in a minute. Connelly looks like she was put on earth to do toothpaste commercials, but there’s a suggestion of naughtiness in her slight, rabbity overbite. With the right director and costar (Mickey Rourke?), she could be quite the temptress. Here, though, she is turned into such a pure-hearted fantasy figure — a benevolent goddess who exists for no other reason than to bring the hero out of his shell — that she might almost be an alien from Star Trek.

Career Opportunities
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