The Sure Thing

1985 PG-13 1h 35m DVD

The Sure Thing

1985 PG-13 1h 35m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Free-spirited Ivy League freshman "Gib" Gibson (John Cusack) makes plans to visit his friend in California over winter break, with the promise of a hot babe awaiting his arrival. But he's stuck driving cross-country with studious Alison (Daphne Zuniga), who can't stand him. But along the way, they come to eventually tolerate each other ... and perhaps even a bit more. Rob Reiner directs this coming-of-age romantic comedy.
John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Anthony Edwards, Boyd Gaines, Tim Robbins, Lisa Jane Persky, Viveca Lindfors, Nicollette Sheridan, Marcia Christie, Robert Anthony Marcucci
Rob Reiner
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1, Full Screen 1.33:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital Mono
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that there is profanity and sex talk in a script that centers on a teenage college freshman's quest for no-strings-attached sex with a fantasy-figure beach girl. Even though our hero finally reconsiders his priorities, his hang-loose lifestyle and heavy drinking are made to look admirable -- and characters who disdain his wild ways seem cartoonishly stiff and dull. College comes across as a hotbed of sexual experimentation,, and, consequently, co-eds not enjoying regular sex must have something seriously wrong with them. Binge-drinking, "mooning," and "flashing" are portrayed as high-spirited fun.

Sexual Content

A bare-butt shot of an anonymous male character "mooning" the heroes. Alison responds by taking her top off, but nothing is shown. Much footage of the dream-girl blonde in a revealing string bikini or other skimpy ensembles. There is the sound of two teen characters making loud love and a brief glimpse of them contorted under bedsheets in an unlikely and kinky position. Much talk about sex (in general, non-clinical terms), and a reference to the notorious "letters" column of a popular pornographic magazine. A few homosexual jokes.


A passing threat of hitchhiker molestation-rape that doesn't materialize.


"Shit," "bastard," frequent use of "t-ts."

Social Behavior

As part of the "opposites attract" formula here, Gib is an irresponsible, hedonistic type and heavy drinker whose ideal of romance is one of unattached, casual sex; meanwhile conservative Alison is haughty and repressed. During the course of the narrative, however, they appreciate each others' differences, to the point that when Gib gets his chance at a "sure thing," he misses Alison instead -- just as she pines for Gib over her stilted and boring boyfriend. Both these young people change for the better and learn mutual respect -- with the questionable proposition that heavy drinking and reckless, rowdy behavior are shown as "growth." Parents as role models and influences are invisible.


No brand names mentioned, but virtues of beer and junk-food eating are extolled.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Beer and bourbon drinking in profuse amounts, references to marijuana. These are made into positive, empowering indulgences (especially campus beer-binging), and people who abstain from them look drab and colorless.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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