Synopsis: When night-shift custodian Jim (Frank Whaley) is accidentally locked up alone in the store he cleans, he realizes he has access to the entire building and decides to indulge in the abundance of free food and merchandise at his fingertips. Surprisingly, he bumps into local rich girl Josie (Jennifer Connelly), who is also imprisoned in the store for the night, and they quickly bond. But, just as romantic sparks fly, Josie and Jim are interrupted by two small-time robbers.
Main Features: I had heard of Career Opportunities some time in my high school transition into college. Having never seen it still upon it's new release to Bluray by way of boutique studio Kino Lorber, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself intrigued and let down. Upon first viewing, it has a Ferris Bueller vibe: a full-of-himself male lead struggling to find his place in the world while having a sly, sardonic way with words to get himself in and out of trouble. It's for this reason that one can tell the studio who originally produced the film saw potential ($$!!) in this. Plus, John Hughes was on board to write it. The problem is, at least from my aged perspective, I have come to loathe the entitlement of Ferris and his friends get away with everything but murder. So it's no surprise that it's no wonder upon finishing Career Opportunities that unfound myself left with a sour taste in my mouth. Is Whaley's Jim likeable? Absolutely. That actor always has been. But his charm isn't in the mold of mouthy teen, like Ferris was. I can very understand the appeal of Career Opportunities, and the film has much to love in it, but so much feels distracting and shoehorned in, especially when the dynamic created between Jim and Josie is already good enough. Keep it a bottle episode with it's limited, established ingredients. I almost sense Hughes was rushed to give a Ferris Bueller derivative without a full polish to make it feel different. All that said, the film still is interesting even if it's doesn't feel like the usual Hughes gleaming final output.
Bonus Features: Only two extra features. One is the original trailer for the film, part of a controversial marketing campaign that focused on the sex appeal of Connelly. The cover of the Blu-Ray makes it balanced with the normalmposter, but the Blu-Ray menu? Whaley is cut off to just show Connelly. That oddness aside, my former colleague Erik Childress provides an insightful view via audio commentary of a film that has surprisingly more idiosyncrasies than at first glance. Needless to say, this feature was what attracted me to finally view the film, and the commentary pays off in dividends. Childress has a vast deeper knowledge and perspective on film than I will ever know (surprising to many of my non-critic friends) and enlightens a mediocre movie with some fantastic facts and tidbits to ponder on how much richer this film could have been or already is (depending on your final POV).
Final Call: As it's prefixed ancestor once said, Career Opportunities didn't stop to look around once in awhile, resulting in a missed opportunity at something equally popular and even more worthwhile. But that's what commentary is for: from Ferris and friends.