There are actors from the 1980’s that I have always thought were iconic and Matt Dillon (The Outsiders) is certainly one of them. So, when I saw that a movie of his was on sale at a grocery store for 3 bucks, I jumped at the chance to watch it. So, today’s film is the 1984 film The Flamingo Kid which stars Dillon as Jeffrey Willis. Jefferey is your everyday average 18 year old who just graduated from high school. He is certainly uncertain as to what the future may hold for him despite his parents expectations. That summer, Jeffrey gets a job a very exclusive beach club called The El Flamingo and he begins to think he knows what he wants when he listens tot he club’s prestigious gin player Mr. Brody (Richard Crenna). Brody fills his head with dreams of fortune, but Jeffrey will have to figure it out for himself on this coming of age story. The film also stars Hector Elizondo (Pretty Woman) as Arthur Willis, Jessica Walter (Archer) as Mrs. Brody, Janet Jones (The Beastmaster) as Carla, Brian McNamara (Caddyshack II) as Steve, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Hawk, Leon (Above The Rim) as Fortune, Bronson Pinchot (Risky Business) as Alfred, and the film was directed by Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman).
We call it a coming of age story because the character goes in not knowing a lot and through some event, he grows and comes out smarter than before. Jefferey Willis has a coming of age story through his relationship with Carla and his experience with Mr. Brody. Her thinks Mr. Brody is the king sh**, but soon learns through an event that he’s just as much a phony as anyone. He comes out at the end knowing what’s right and what’s wrong and what he should do with the rest of his life hence the coming of age story. One thing that we can certainly say about Matt Dillon is that he puts on an incredible performance in the film as he normally did back in those days. The truth is that a lot of the actors in the film did an amazing job including the great Hector Elizondo who plays the hard working father with a dream that feels threatened by the flashy Mr. Brody. I loved how the film was set in the 1950’ss I believe with the cars, the clothing, and the music. The 50’s is definitely one of my favorite eras of history in America. The set designers and wardrobe people along with hair and makeup deserve some definite kudos from me for the good job they did on this film. Overall, this is just a great film from beginning to end and it’s definitely one you should check out if you are a fan of Garry Marshall. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Plus, How many of us out there can relate to Matt Dillon’s character when we were 18 years old? I bet it’s quite a lot!