Flamingo Kid, The (1984)
“You know, he’s really cute and everything — but did you have to invite him to dinner?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… and smitten with a friendly, beautiful blonde (Janet Jones) from California:
What’s most refreshing about the screenplay (written by Neal Marshall — apparently no relation to the director) is how it presents Dillon as suitably ambitious but not callous; when telling his father about his decision to work at the Flamingo Club rather than as an “office boy” for a client of his father’s, he says, “Oh come on, Dad, let’s face it — they only hired me because you fix their plumbing. They don’t need me! I did this on my own.”
In that one line, we understand that Dillon isn’t disparaging of his dad’s working-class profession, but simply eager to test out his own mettle and see where he gets. Throughout his summer adventures, Dillon stays curious and excited yet reasonably grounded in good sense. Although he’s lured in by the promise of “easy” money:
… the instant he sees a hint of foul play, he begins to understand that nothing in life is truly easy. Indeed, his interactions with a fellow college-bound “cabana boy” named Fortune (Leon Robinson), who has a scholarship to Notre Dame but is hoping to save up money for his room and board:
… is a steady reminder of how Dillon should really focus on his work at the Flamingo Club as a lucrative stop along his ultimate path, rather than a destination. Watch for Jessica Walter in a perfectly cast role as Crenna’s over-tanned, socially conscious wife:
… and John Turturro in one of his first screen appearances (albeit super-brief) as a fellow gambler at the horce races (seen here talking with Fisher Stevens):
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
One thought on “Flamingo Kid, The (1984)”
First viewing. Not must-see.
A mild, popcorn comedy with good intentions (in terms of the overall moral). The ‘comedy’ is almost non-existent unless you go in for average tv-level humor (director Marshall largely worked in tv).
There’s a heavy dose of oldies pop tunes to make viewers feel nostalgic.