Homework (1982) from Tuna

Intended to be a bittersweet story with the ring of truth, Homework (1982) is a "coming of age" film about a group of High School students discovering themselves. The main character is dating a girl whose only interest is making the swimming team despite the fact that she is not very good. He is obsessed by the fact that he hasn't had sex yet, and the punch line of the film was his seduction by his girlfriend's mother (Joan Collins).

Along the way the star and a friend start a garage band and get a young black girl to sing lead. Her military father is right square in her face, as he wants her to be singing only in the church choir. Another girl in the group loses her virginity to a rock star, and ends up with the clap.
The story is spiced with lots of nudity in various fantasies by the male lead, and in flashbacks to the teen experiences of Joan Collins in the 50s.

The film turned out to be an artistic and financial disaster. One-time director Jim Beshears was incompetent, as was most of the crew, especially the DP. Joan Collins added to the problems by refusing to do the nudity that she had agreed to when she accepted twenty five grand to do the film, and then suing the production when they grafted her face onto someone else's body for a poster. Finally, the distribution company put the last nails in the coffin. Rosenberg claims that he originally made the film with his own money ($700K), yet the distributors managed to lose $12M on prints and advertising, including $3M of Rosenberg's money.

Producer Max Rosenberg felt at the time, and still felt on his deathbed, that he chose a good script to produce, but that is not how things worked out. I agree with Rosenberg. The script was fine, and the cast was excellent, but the crew butchered it.

Scoop's notes in yellow:

  • I haven't seen the film, but I can only assume that Joan Collins's teen years must have been the 1850s.

  • Jim Beshears never directed again. His specialty is sound, and he performed various functions in sound editing or supervising for some prestigious projects, including Immortal Beloved.

  • Writer Maurice Peterson was also a one-timer.

  • Lead actor Michael Morgan did act again, but never again had an important film role. Homework was filmed in 1979, and Morgan's next movie role was in The Karate Kid, Part II in 1986 - as "G.I. #2". He then waited another five years to play "Karate Student" in The Master Demon.

  • Tellingly, and perhaps of paramount importance, the film's editor was also a one-timer. Most people underrate the editor's contribution to the flow of a film. An inexperienced director working with an inexperienced editor is just about a sure-fire formula for disaster.

  • This film was actually lensed in 1979 and shelved for three years. It was finally released in 1982 for two reasons:

    1. Most important, the TV series "Dynasty" came out in 1981, and that made Joan Collins a red-hot property.

    2. People seemed to be hungry for "coming of age" comedies in 1982-1986. All of these came out in that era: Porky's (1982), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), A Christmas Story (1983), My Tutor (1983), Risky Business (1983), All the Right Moves (1983), Better Off Dead (1985), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Ferris Buehler's Day Off (1986), One Crazy Summer (1986).



  • The widescreen transfer is letterboxed (not anamorphically enhanced for 16x9 screens)
  • The film does have one worthwhile feature: a thirty minute interview with the late producer Howard Rosenberg.



  • Joy Michael, as the young Joan Collins, and also as her double, shows breasts

  • Michelle Bauer shows her breasts in a fantasy sequence, and

  • Barbara Peckinpaugh goes topless in yet another fantasy sequence.

  • Several other women also show breasts.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a D (or lower). Not worth the time.

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