The Sure Thing is at heart a sweetly old-fashioned look at the last lap of the coming-of-age ordeal in which the sure thing becomes less important than the real thing. Realization may not be earth shattering, but in an era of fast food and faster sex, return to the traditional is downright refreshing.
Gib (John Cusack) is a beer guzzling junk food devotee with a flair for the outrageous, but he is not having much luck with the opposite sex in his freshman year at an eastern Ivy League college. One of the women he strikes out with is Alison (Daphne Zuniga), a prim and proper coed who thinks that spontaneity is a social disease.
The plot thickens as they both arrange a ride, unbeknownst to each other, with a California bound couple for the Christmas break. Gib is off to score with the sure thing (Nicollette Sheridan) while Alison is visiting her boorish boyfriend (Boyd Gaynes). Stranded together, the two travelers mix like oil and water, volatile at first and gradually realizing that their different personalities complement each other.
Chemistry between Cuzack and Zuniga is a plus as they change and grow together as the film progresses. Off-key serenade of showtunes from Tim Robbins and Lisa Jane Persky in the car heading west supplies the same daffy humor director Rob Reiner brought to his mock documentary, This Is Spinal Tap.