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Film / Johnny Be Good

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Johnny Be Good is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Bud S. Smith and starring Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Downey Jr., with a supporting cast including Paul Gleason, Uma Thurman, Seymour Cassel, Marshall Bell, and Jennifer Tilly.

Johnny Walker (Hall) is a football player who can go to any college he wants, but he can’t make up his mind. To make things worse, his coach and multiple colleges are willing to do unethical things in order to make his decision for him.

This film provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: All the constant praise Johnny receives from college recruiters turns him into a narcissist.
  • As Himself: Howard Cosell and Jim McMahon play themselves.
  • Ate His Gun: Parodied. When Johnny refuses to visit a college in California, Leo threatens to shoot himself in the mouth a toy gun that shoots suction cup darts.
  • The Benchwarmer: Leo is a benchwarmer who gets to play when Johnny pretends to be injured.
  • Big Game: The movie opens with a state championship game that will determine what college scholarships the players are offered.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Georgia’s father hates Johnny.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Johnny talks to a gas station employee who once had potential to be a professional football star, but who suffered a leg injury.
  • Disappeared Dad: Johnny’s father never makes an appearance.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: One of the cheerleaders takes off her panties during a game. Players on the opposing team are so distracted by this that Johnny’s teammates wipe the floor with them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Wallace learns about how Hisler framed Johnny and Leo for rape, he’s shocked.
  • Family-Friendly Stripper: When Johnny and some other prospective students visit a strip club, all the strippers wear sexy cowgirl outfits, but never take off anything.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Johnny returns from California with a purple and gold suit and multiple gold chains. Everyone around him thinks his outfit is ridiculous.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: By the end of the movie, Coach Hisler and all the unethical college recruiters are punished for everything they did.
  • Lovable Jock: As the protagonist, Johnny's main problem is an inflated ego caused by all the praise he's getting from recruiters.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Coach Hisler says “wimps and faggots” during his first scene.
  • Prison Rape: When Johnny and Leo get arrested, Hisler talks about how they’re going to get raped.