Review Date: 3/21/04
Cast: Frank Whaley, Jennifer Connelly
While "The Rocketeer" (1991) may be the definitive Jennifer Connelly film, it's the mechanical pony scene in "Career Opportunities" that will forever be burned into my psyche. Apart from her, the film is irredeemable, but it holds a special place in my heart because the majority of it was shot at Target. (T-378, specifically) I worked at Target all through high school and college (and then some), so the film touches me on a deeper level than most. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, though... I recall there being an all-store meeting while the film was being shot, as sort of a promotional pep rally kind of thing. They showed us a little "behind the scenes" featurette full of propaganda about how Target and Hollywood were collaborating and how important this was for all of us little people. Like most pep rallies, I was rather disgusted by the whole thing, but then seeing Jennifer Connelly on the mechanical pony was sheer magic. I thought to myself, "I've GOT to see this movie!" For whatever reasons, it took me thirteen years to do so - perhaps I've finally recovered from my post-Target trauma? Anyways, it's REALLY bad, and I'm embarrassed to say that it was so tedious that I ended up playing my guitar through most of it. Unless the lovely Ms. Connelly was onscreen, and then she had my undivided attention.
One of John Hughes' lesser works, the story revolves around the town liar (Frank Whaley) and the town tease (Jennifer Connelly) getting locked inside a Target store one fateful evening. Conveniently enough, two crooks break in and much hilarity (and pony riding) ensues. Frank Whaley dominates the entire picture, and does a spectacular job of being annoying as hell. Jennifer Connelly is lovely as always, as well as wickedly seductive. That woman is dangerous to my health. She's got the whole big hair, spandex, tank top, 80's thing going on, and it's a wonderful thing. Other than that, the movie is instantly regrettable, er, I mean forgettable.