Written and co-produced by John Hughes and directed by Bryan Gordon (a writer for Fridays that has gone on to direct Curb Your Enthusiasm, Freaks and Geeks and the Arnold Palmer 30 for 30 documentary), Career Opportunities was a rare misfire for Hughes.
It does have one thing going for it and that’s Jennifer Connelly after she made Etoille and Phenomena but before The Rocketeer. And I guess Target, which is pretty much a character in this movie in the same way that people say that New York City is a character.
That’s where Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley) and Josie McClellan (Connolley) are spending the night; him because he’s an overnight janitor and her because she’s been sleeping in one of the stockrooms after debating shoplifting to make her rich father angry.
There’s literally no conflict in this movie, as it’s a series of montages until the crooks Nestor Pyle and Gil Kinney (Dermot and Kieran Mulroney) break in and threaten their lives, leading to Josie seducing them both by riding a child’s quarter horse in the front of the store (this scene was pretty much the entire advertising campaign of this movie).
Hughes would refer to this film as cheap, vulgar and a disappointment. Seeing as how he was behind it, this film was released in Germany as Kevins Cousin allein im Supermarkt (Kevin’s Cousin Alone in the Supermarket). It does have some similarities — being left behind in a place the adults have left, two inept bandits and a winter in Chicago setting — but that’s because this film and the somewhat similar elements in the Hughes scripted Dutch were both written before Kevin Arnold became a big deal.
The John Candy cameo makes this movie.
You can get this from Kino Lorber, who has just released it on blu ray.