Back to School

Rodney Dangerfield as an amiably crass, nouveau riche businessman (he owns a chain of “tall and fat” shops) who joins his son (Keith Gordon) at a midwestern university to get the college degree he never had time for (1986). It's a good character for Dangerfield, one that veers him away from the “I don't get no respect” pathos that comes too easily to him, and enough attention is paid to the minimal plot to integrate Dangerfield's classically constructed one-liners into something like a dramatic situation. This is what they mean by “a good vehicle.” With Sally Kellerman (as Dangerfield's improbable love interest, she's more human than she's seemed in years), Adrienne Barbeau (who seems to have turned into Agnes Moorehead when no one was looking), Burt Young, Ned Beatty, and Robert Downey Jr.

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