No Small Affair (1984) Poster

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An 80s version of It Should Happen To You
vertigo_1427 February 2004
I just watched this movie today again after having it sit on my shelf for a few years. I don't remember if I thought it was such a hot movie when I first saw it, or that I bought it because it was just cheap and might come in handy some Saturday afternoon that I might be searching for a little 80s entertainment.

It's not a bad movie, don't get me wrong. And you're likely to enjoy it if you've been impressed with Jon Cryer's catalog of 80s movies, given that most of them were mediochre. And, you're likely to enjoy it if you like Demi Moore's early 80s films as well. She'll even sing you a number or two.

I find this movie to be charming as an 80s version of an old Judy Holiday/Jack Lemmon movie called 'It Should Happen to You' in which Lemmon plays a documentary filmmaker and Holiday plays a young woman looking to get famous by posting her billboards up around the city. It's not quite the same story exactly, but there are similarities. Nonetheless, 'No Small Affair' is a nice little love story. Not boom boom grand, but just a pleasant little film.
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A young photographer has a big crush.
michaelRokeefe9 December 2000
Warning: Spoilers
Cute. Cozy. A dash of sizzle. Jon Cryer is a high school student, who has devoted his life to photography. He accidentally takes a shot of a young woman(Demi Moore)that will become his obsession. Moore plays a singer trying to get her career started. Cryer spends his life savings ($6,000)on putting Moore's picture on 175 taxi cabs. The rest is pretty juvenile.

Miss Moore at times is down right sultry and I was disappointed that she was not doing her own singing. The voice you hear is that of Chrissy Faith. In my opinion, Miss Moore is the only good thing to happen to this movie. I admit watching it three times and find the goodbye scene at the airport worth the price of admission or rental. A kiss to remember.

Also in the cast are George Wendt, Ann Wedgeworth, Jennifer Tilly and Jeffrey Tambor. Look for a small part for Tim Robbins.
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Kitsch 80's film that never ceases to charm me!
dannyfitzuk13 February 2006
I've seen this film about five times now and I never cease to be delighted by its charms.

Where do I start? Firstly Jon Cryer is truly excellent as the precocious adolescent amateur photographer who spouts sophisticated adult dialogue but is really naive on the romantic front. The way he blushes at the right moment is very credible. He plays the blushing virgin with gusto - we don't doubt for a moment that he's never had sex or kissed a girl.

Firstly I must admit here to being a major fan of Demi Moore's films in the 80's. I've seen all of them from that period and I adore the characters she plays - Moore is what I call 'value added'. Whatever role she plays she brings something special, whether it is a brilliant range in temperament, downcast eyes, the husky voice, the tearful eyes the shiny hair. Most Hollywood actresses can't manage this, but Demi manages to be the girl next door and screen siren all in one.

Anyway she plays this aspiring niteclub singer with bad taste in 80's clothes and even worse taste in music. To her credit she doesn't sing any of the songs as they were recorded by other people, so she just lip syncs along quite nicely. That song 'Hotheaded' is actually quite catchy in that Michael Bolton, Bar 'rawk' sort of way. Overall her character, Laura Victor comes over as a really likable human being. And the final scene at the airport is truly touching. Moore's says two simple words 'thank you' and we know she means it.

Another to reason to love this film is that it was filmed entirely on location in San Francisco, and studio interiors are very few and far in between. Most of the shots are on real locations which adds to the movie's overall charm. This combined with the corny dialogue: that scene where she barges into the High School language laboratory dressed in a coctail waitress (read hooker!) outfit in very high heels and pulls Cryer out of the language lab is really funny - especially when she says "F*** Off ez Vous" to the French teacher.

Some of the scenes are chauvinistic, including the one with frat boys and the hired hooker - which really doesn't have any relevance to the overall plot. And I agree with a previous poster who says that Cryer's on screen mother is one of the most irritating characters to appear in movies. That line about the sausage of Cryer's brother going cold is truly risible. When I watch this film I try very hard to ignore the flaws!

This is corny, cheesy and highly entertaining. It really captures the spirit of the 80's. I'll never stop watching it - I love it.

Bonus: watch out for Jennifer Tilly and Tim Robbins in bit parts playing Cryer's classmates. Robbins was 28 when he played this role. Teenage high school student he ain't! But it's still good to see him in this. Also the very catchy song 'Eiffel Tower' by Malcolm McClaren and the McClarenettes.

Moore wears some wacky clothes and has that 80's penchant for long evening gloves with hundreds of bangles, very Material Girl! I love that cabin on the boardwalk apartment she lives in while working at Jakes's as a singer. Very bohemian, very cool, very 1984!
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Snapshots of Laura
jotix1008 August 2005
"No Small Affair" was a movie made at the height of the Brat Pack popularity. John Cryer and Demi Moore, two of the most prominent members of the group are showcased in this whimsical comedy about obsession. Jerry Schatzberg directed the film, which has a San Francisco setting.

The movie is in a way, the coming of age of Charles Cummings, a young amateur photographer who one day discovers a beautiful young woman while taking pictures at one of the piers. He will do anything in order to meet Laura, who at the beginning doesn't feel anything for him, but who is intrigued by his obsession, especially when he spends all his savings to have her face, and telephone number, plastered all over the tops of taxis. He was only trying to get Laura exposed to possible offers for a recording career, but the plan backfires and all she gets are sexual propositions.

John Cryer as Charles Cummings is charming. Demi Moore does good work as Laura. George Wendt, Peter Frechette, Ann Wedgeworth, Jeffrey Tambor, Jeniffer Tilly and Tim Robbings are seen in supporting roles.

The film is an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.
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i love this movie
eloyrocky18 September 2004
I've been trying to get my paws on this one for years now but they don't ever give it on TV .ill have to get the DVD whenever i got the cash.this has everything i love about movies-it is a child from the eighties,its got jon cryer-an icon of teen pictures of the decade-it is a sweet love story,the one you-well,i-wish could happen in real life.demi moore would never be sweeter. well,maybe in One Crazy Summer. at the time i watched it-hell,even now as i write-i had gone thru my first crush on an older woman(in my case,my ninth grade math teacher-she was 23 and i fifteen)and i felt i was the only one who though of that kind of relationships,so when i saw a Hollywood movie dealing with it in such a great way i fell for it all the will remain one of my all time favorites until the day i die,a throwback to an era full of possibilities,however practically unattainable.
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not special, but enjoy it every time
Sebastian-2018 April 2001
Nice romantic comedy about a 16 year old guy (Jon Cryer), who likes taking pictures more as he likes girls, but that is going to change when he discovers a pretty girl on the pictures he shot in the harbor. He than falls in love and wants to find this girl, who sings in a rockband, and after some adventures they get an affair, till the point that she has to go to LA for her career, something he helped her with for the price of $6000 (I believe)....

Liked the performances of Jon Cryer, Demi Moore and also George Wendt. Although this movie is not that special, I always enjoy it when it's broadcasted.
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puppy love of Jon Cryer for Demi Moore
SnoopyStyle5 November 2016
Charles Cummings (Jon Cryer) is a 16 year old amateur photographer in San Francisco. His brother Leonard brings home his latest fiancée Susan. He considers Leonard his mother's favorite. His mother's boyfriend Ken (Jeffrey Tambor) urges him to be normal. He takes a picture of Laura Victor (Demi Moore) and becomes infatuated with her photo. He searches everywhere for her. Leonard and Susan take the underage Charles out to a club run by Jake (George Wendt). Charles is surprised to find Laura singing. She's struggling with her band and her faltering career. After initially dismissing the younger Charles, she has a fun day out with him taking pictures. The wedding crashers get found out and Laura has to sing for their supper. Charles spends all his money for his Milan trip to advertise Laura on 150 taxis but it's so vague that people assume she's an escort or it's a phone sex line.

This is Jon Cryer's movie debut. He delivers a great puppy love very much in the vein of Duckie. Demi Moore has her star quality in a struggling artist character. The story is a meandering teen rom-com. Maybe it's the presence of Duckie but this does have a faded sense of a John Hughes movie. It's not quite at a high level but the two leads are magnetic and compelling. It's a cheesy little romance with two terrific future stars.
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What a charming little movie!
katish730 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'm so surprised to just discover this one now on amazon prime! The movie is charming and with some really nice bits in dialog too. It's refreshingly nonjudgmental about the characters supposed age difference. Ironically this type of movie wouldn't be made now in a supposedly more progressive time.

Demi Moore does an amazing job. I'm a bit disappointed that they don't let her sing, but I guess the story does call for somewhat undisputedly amazing voice, so they had her lip syncing. But yes, even though it's one of her very first major roles you can see a star in her already.

And John Cryer is still fresh and not annoying at all. He actually comes off as handsome and full of life guy. It's now, 35 years later, he seems to be stuck in the cliche rolls after decades of that silly show he's been on.

Surprising bits of casting are that both Jenifer Tilley and Tim Robinson are older than Demi but play highschoolers. John Cryer is only 2 years younger than her but he does have a baby face in this still so 6 years difference is kind of believable. No wonder him and Demi have a great chemistry in this since they dated while filming.

The only somewhat annoying scenes are the family scenes, the brother is totally misogynistic, mother and her lover are just stupid, I guess those are unavoidable 80s cliches and it was funny then. If you disregard that part, the story between Laura and Charles (Moore and Cryer) is actually quite timeless and endlessly charming.

Though I've noticed some of the earlier reviewers here said that the dialog was corny, boy it's nothing comparing to what the dialogs have become in the movies now, actually the dialog apart from family bits is good and has meaning in a classic way.
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No Small Affair
Scarecrow-887 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rather fun slice of 80s corn has a (surprisingly) colorless Jon Cryer, a teenage photography prodigy, falling head-over-heels for a struggling club singer, Demi Moore (very attractive, but Woof, still not much of an actress). Cryer pines for her while trying to help her achieve career stardom through the use of his camera and photographic skill…and the $6 grand he's had saved up for a trip. There's an amazing cast in supporting parts like Cheers' George Wendt as the club owner Moore frequently sings, Peter Frechette as Cryer's supportive big brother, Elizabeth Daily (Pee Wee's Big Adventure & Valley Girl) as Frechette's fiancé, Jeffrey Tambor (yes, of The Larry Sanders Show) as "Uncle" Ken (married to Cryer's mom, played by Ann Wedgeworth), Tim Robbins (get a load of him as a sex-obsessed high schooler, so tall he towers over the rest of his classmates!; he is one of those dimbulb goofs you cackle at), and a barely recognizable Jennifer Tilly as a fellow classmate of Cryer's who could be a future love interest of his. Demi's "rocking out" (obviously not her singing) and Cryer's discomfort with matters relating to sex (like his "hooker incident" with the stag party prostitute) are moments certain to either make you cringe and giggle (or both). There's good use of San Francisco throughout as a backdrop for Cryer's attempts at wooing Moore, but this was still a few years before he really perfected his self-deprecating persona so memorable on the show, Two and a Half Men. He was still about two years away from the delightful, scene-stealing part as Ducky on "Pretty in Pink" and the critically-maligned (but not as bad as they insist, to me anyway) Morgan Stewart's Coming Home (an HBO comedy I remember quite popular among my pals back in the day), and these films would express his gifts at comedy and endearing charm (despite the "loser" stigma that seems to define most of his characters). The statutory illegal relationship between Moore and Cryer's characters (especially the ending when she takes his virginity) might give cause to squirm, but it identifies the pent-up yearnings held by teenage boys for slightly older girls. Moore has a hard time with performing aching and frustration and Cryer just seems rather uncomfortable and a bit nervy: for some reason, it all entertained me regardless. His sacrifices might be considered worth it after rolling under the sheets with babe Moore; I had a nice chuckle at the use of Moore's image (which enrages her), Cryer meaning well, on taxi-cabs (to get her "noticed"), as an attempt to advertise her, misconstrued as invites for sexual favors, a phone call underneath a provocative pose. Surprisingly, this bit of fluff for the teenage/young adult crowd, was directed by Jerry Schatzberg (Panic in Needle Park & Scarecrow (both starring a young Al Pacino)). Despite being rated R, the only real reason No Small Affair might be seen as too adult for the intended crowd is some nudity (tits) and mature themes (handled with a bit of care, such as Moore's admission at offering herself to Wendt to keep her singing gig, and Cryer unable to "seal the deal" with the hooker, he later just wants to hug(!)).
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A bittersweet coming-of-age tale
daneldorado20 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
About halfway through "No Small Affair," there's a scene where Laura, the singer played by Demi Moore, belts out a knockout rendition of the Madeira/Dorsey standard, "I'm Glad There Is You." It's a jazzy paean to romance. Watching the movie again recently, I was jolted when Laura sang the line about "underrated treasures", because it's a capsule description of the film itself. "No Small Affair," unheralded in its day and rarely revived since, is itself a treasure, a gem among the gravel of cynical 1980s films.

It's a coming-of-age tale, chronicling the conversion of Charles Cummings (Jon Cryer) from gawky teenager to confident young adult. Nothing new there, except that director Jerry Schatzberg and screenwriters Charles Bolt and Terence Mulcahy have fashioned a charming film that sings with a bittersweet passion about Cummings' wrenching transformation. His catalyst is Laura, the 23-year-old saloon singer played by Demi Moore. With her youthful yet worldly manner, and her scratchy violin voice playing its siren song on Cummings' sensibilities, the lad is a goner. What ensues is a funny and endearing rite-of-passage story with brilliantly clever complications.

Cummings -- he prefers not to be called Charles -- is a 16-year-old amateur photographer who likes to shoot pictures of colorful San Francisco locales. One day, when Laura and a friend wander into camera range, Cummings waves them off, but not before he's snapped a few shots of Laura's beautiful face. Seeing that face later in his proof sheets, Cummings is hooked.

Infatuated beyond reason, Cummings searches for his new beloved. He begins by staking out the dock where he first saw her. After several hours of fruitless waiting, he sulks: "Someone said, if you stand in one spot long enough, the whole world will pass by. I don't know who said that, but he's an idiot."

Fortune finally smiles on Cummings on a night out with his big brother Leonard (Peter Frechette) and Leonard's fiancée Susan (Elizabeth Daily). Armed with a fake ID, Charles joins the pair at a downtown nitery, and there, on the tiny stage, the object of his affections warbles into a hand mike, barely audible above the blare of a heavy- metal band. But the next morning, Cummings' exhilaration at finding Laura is tempered by the news that her band is breaking up, and the lady may wind up out of a job.

Worlds above Cummings in sophistication, Laura nevertheless turns to her new friend for comfort when her career goes sour. One afternoon, she accedes to his request to pose for his camera, and we can feel their deepening friendship as the hours pass by and Cummings shoots roll after roll of film, happily taking pictures of this glowing Circe in front of some of San Francisco's most picturesque landmarks. Night falls, and the pair are tired, hungry, and broke. So they decide to crash a wedding reception and help themselves to food and drink. When they are caught by the father of the bride (Hamilton Camp) and threatened with arrest, Cummings makes a deal with the irascible paterfamilias: Let Laura sing for their supper. She does so... and, to everyone's surprise, including Laura's, her rendition of a classic ballad (the above- mentioned "I'm Glad There is You") is a big hit. Who knew this grunge diva could sing pop?

This revelation inspires Cummings to take drastic action. Rounding up his life's savings, he pays to have Laura's likeness and telephone number posted on taxicabs all over the city. He's hoping the publicity will attract attention to Laura's talents, but at first it seems only to attract heavy-breathing weirdos. Exasperated, Laura pulls her phone out of the wall. But a newswire service picks up the story about the young fan and his generous gesture and prints it, and soon the phones are ringing off the wall at Laura's old place of business. The bar owner, Jake (George Wendt), pleads with Laura to return and sing at his establishment. She agrees, but she is still furious with Cummings.

Laura's "debut", in front of a packed house that includes record company talent agents, is a success. She is offered a recording contract, and the possibility of stardom beckons. But now, in a neat reversal of the first half of the film, the hunted becomes the hunter, as she tries frantically to locate Cummings and thank him.

What makes "No Small Affair" so winning is the delicious array of comedy performers director Schatzberg has united for his film. Jon Cryer, making his first film at age 19, has all the right moves, whether making sheep's eyes at his costar or doing a nifty moonwalk upon receiving a bit of good news. Demi Moore, in her first starring role, makes Laura tender/tough, a savvy woman who combines a strong sense of independence with a most touching vulnerability. (In one climactic scene, Laura wraps her arms around her young benefactor and says, "When I grow up, I want to be just like you.") It wouldn't be the last time Demi Moore enchanted a younger man.

Among the supporting players, none resonates more delightfully than Judy Baldwin as Stephanie, the elegant call girl Cummings meets at his brother's bachelor party. Baldwin's bit is little more than a cameo, but her luminous and hilarious scene with Cryer will be remembered long after most of the other performances are forgotten.

Dan Navarro (
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