As often noted, the problem with porno is that there are only so many ways to show people having sex; the problem with films like Losin' is that there are only so many ways to show teenagers not having sex.

As often noted, the problem with porno is that there are only so many ways to show people having sex; the problem with films like Losin’ is that there are only so many ways to show teenagers not having sex.

But director Curtis Hanson makes a commendable effort with a rather obvious story about three teenage boys who head for a wild weekend in Tijuana, hoping to trade hard cash for manly experience.

Though none is really very experienced, each is sophisticated to a stereotyped degree. There’s the high-school hunk (John Stockwell) who’s actually had a girl; the blustering faker (Jackie Earle Haley), whose experience is limited to his own imagination; and the sensitive innocent (Tom Cruise), who isn’t sure he wants it, but is destined for the best time to be had by all.

Naturally, they are accompanied by wimpy John P. Navin Jr, brought along only because he has the necessary cash to make the trip possible. And along the way they pick up crazy – but nice – Shelley Long, on the lam from her husband.

This doesn’t sound like much and it isn’t, but the picture is a solid credit for all involved.

Losin' It

Production

Embassy. Director Curtis Hanson; Producer Bryan Gindoff, Hannah Hempstead; Screenplay B.W.L. Norton; Camera Gil Taylor; Editor Richard Halsey; Music Ken Wannberg; Art Director Robb Wilson King

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1983. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Tom Cruise Jackie Earle Haley John Stockwell Shelley Long John P. Navin Jr Hector Elias
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