The Favor (1991) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This movie was made in 1991 and released in 1994. That probably tells you all you need to know.

If you want to know more, it was released in 1994 only because its obscure fourth lead grew up to become Brad Pitt. Between 1991 and 1994, Pitt appeared in Thelma and Louise, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall, and it had then become plausible to market this turkey as a "Brad Pitt film".

Didn't work. It bombed. $3 million at the box.


none! It could have used some.

It is a bedroom farce told entirely through the lead woman's POV, filled with her sexual daydreams and fantasies. Harley Jane Kozak plays that character, a devoted wife and mother with a great husband, perfect kids, and a great relationship with all of them. But she's getting the Double Seven Year Itch with her 15th high school reunion approaching. She finds that more and more of her time has been occupied dreaming and daydreaming about her high school boyfriend, who was the hunkiest guy in school (Ken Wahl). They never went all the way, and the relationship seems to have ended without closure.

She doesn't want to cheat on her husband, but she devises an ingenious plan to satisfy her curiosity. Her best friend, a free-spirited single woman who has just dumped her boyfriend, will meet Mr High School Beau and have sex with him. She will then report it back to the wife.

What goes wrong? Single Gal likes it wa-ay-ay too much, to the tune of eight times in one night. The sexual heat they generated has two effects. First of all, it creates a tension between the two women. Second, rather than extinguishing her passion as intended, it only inflames the wife's imagination of the hunk-boy, and now she wants to turn her daydreams into reality.

That much of the movie was built on a reasonably sound premise, and was fairly funny. Harley Jane's fantasies were sometimes amusing.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • no meaningful features

Unfortunately, they threw in about 72 gratuitous sub-plots. The Single Gal gets pregnant. Whose is it? Dumped boyfriend or other woman's high school beau? She won't say a thing, and she won't tell either guy she is pregnant, so Married Woman goes to tell the dumped boyfriend (Brad Pitt). Husband sees her having all these meetings with Brad Pitt, and notices that they stop talking and act embarrassed when he appears. Therefore, he thinks his wife is having an affair with Pitt. Pitt, meanwhile, thinks both women are in love with Wahl. And everybody punches Pitt in the face for one reason or another. I think one guy in the crowd punched Pitt in the face just because he had seen Kalifornia, but maybe I imagined that because the chronology is wrong.

As per the bedroom farce convention, they all end up in the same house together, going in and out of doors without seeing one another, hiding and explaining and fighting and making up and that kind of juice. Both couples reunite. Ken Wahl ends up with nothing but the memory of that eight-blowjob night.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 4.9 of 10
  • with their dollars ... $3 million domestic


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Avoid it if you don't like bedroom farces. If you like this kind of film, it's probably watchable because of some good production values and some good jokes within her fantasies.

Return to the Movie House home page