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Film / Career Opportunities

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Career Opportunities is a 1991 romantic comedy written & produced by John Hughes, and starring Frank Whaley and Jennifer Connelly, and co-stars Dermot Mulroney & his brother Kieran, John M. Jackson, Noble Willingham, Jenny O'Hara, Barry Corbin, and William Forsythe.

Jim Dodge, a persuasive but irresponsible kid, lands a job as an overnight janitor at a local Target store. One evening after hours, he finds himself stuck inside the store, cleaning up, and bumping into affluent but mistreated Josie McClellan, a childhood crush. The pair get to know each other all night, with their night capping off with two robbers looking to rob the Target and the both of them still stuck inside.


This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parent: Josie's father occasionally beats her.
  • The Cameo: Per the norm with a Hughes film, this film has an uncredited cameo from Hughes regular John Candy, playing C.D. Marsh, the manager of the Target store.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Th custodian's shotgun comes back into play at the end, when Jim finally turns the tables on the criminals.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Dodge and McClellan families are pretty dysfunctional, to say the least. Jim and his sister bicker, though his parents do support him. However, Josie and her father argue the bulk of the time they have together.
  • Expy: Whaley has said Jim was "a little akin to Ferris Bueller." This is true in his opening scene, right down to him Breaking the Fourth Wall at the start, only for the viewers to see he was talking to dogs.
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  • Head-Turning Beauty: Most men's reactions to Josie.
  • Jerk Jock: Jim's principal recollections of high school are of receiving wedgies from guys like this.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Throughout the movie, Jennifer Connelly walks around in skin-tight clothing and a white tank top.
  • Product Placement: This could be the poster child for this trope. The film is set primarily in a Target department store, with store logos and copious amounts of product visible in virtually every scene. And several sequences basically add up to saying, "Look at all the cool stuff you can do in our stores, including romancing Jennifer Connelly."
  • The Slacker: Jim pretty much is one at the start of the film, who doesn't care much what type of job he has. Even when he's fired from his job at the start of the movie, he doesn't care much about finding another one. Only when his father gets him an interview at Target does he land the position of overnight janitor.
  • Stupid Crooks: Lets just say that Nestor and Gil, the two robbers, aren't the brightest bulbs in the bunch.