The transformation into Duckie

This post is part of a double feature about the movie Hiding Out. The incredible Virginia Lee gives us a look behind the scenes of the film's making at this link, and our own Nathan Tyree reviews the film below.

Hiding Out
by Nathan Tyree

Hiding Out is just so incredibly 1980s.  Seriously, it’s like 1980s pop culture all got piled together and the heap just got bigger and bigger until it was so massive that it collapsed in on itself and formed a singularity of 1987. Other decades orbit this movie.

Hiding Out stars Jon Cryer (who you will likely recognize from the 1980s, but specifically Pretty in Pink, Dudes,  and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace) and Annabeth Gish (Mystic Pizza).  Also featured in Keith Coogan (Adventures in babysitting, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Toy Soldiers).

Cryer stars as Andrew, a young stock broker in an obviously and ridiculously fake beard and very blow-dried hair that feathers just so.  He’s presented as basically likeable and not at all Gordon Gekko. Still, he’s smarmy and over-styled. We quickly learn that he and some others were tricked into a shady bond scheme involving the mafia.  Andrew is meant to be a witness and that has put him in danger.

One of his friends is murdered, and Andrew goes on the run. His plan is to pretend to be  a high school student, for some reason.  Seems like there are any number of easier ways to go into hiding, but this is the path he chose. He cuts and dies his hair, trades a homeless man for a trench coat and finds some buttons. Then his transformation into a cross between Ducky and his character from Dudes is complete. 

From there the film devolves rapidly into a teen comedy.  He argues with a reactionary teacher. He embarrasses himself roller skating. He gets pushed into running for class president. He woos a classmate (and maybe let’s talk about that. He’s supposed to be around 30 and he is trying to date a 17 year old girl and no one who made this movie thought that maybe that was troubling.). It’s a laff-a-minute romp. Or. It wants to be.

Mostly Hiding Out is bland and confused. It smashes a lot of 80s teen movie tropes into a pile and layers some mafia movie action on top. It’s never believable in any way. The movie is kept afloat by a likeable cast and a decent soundtrack.