Private School – sit back and laugh!

Romantic teen oriented comedies have always been a formula for success. Nothing can possibly go wrong with this genre. And we have had a whole lot of movies of this type. One such movie is Private School, released in 1983. Well in some ways, calling it a romantic comedy would be an injustice; it is most probably a sex comedy, rated R for strong sex scenes, nudity and language.

Director and cast

The film is directed by Noel Black, and the cast includes Phoebe Cates (Christine Ramsey), Matthew Modine (Jim Green), Michael Zorek (Bubba Beauregard), Kathleen Wilhoite (Betsy) and Betsy Russell (Jordan Leigh-Jenson). It has a running time of 97 minutes.


The story is set in a private school for girls, Cherryvale Academy, which is run under the headmistress, Miss Dutchbox. A fresh face in the school, Christine, is in love with Jim, from a nearby boys’ academy. Her fierce girlfriend Betsy too has a boyfriend, Bubba, who happens to be Jim’s friend as well. Jordan, who thinks she is better than Christine, has set her eyes on Jim, and will go to any lengths to get him, riding a horse topless included.

Christine and Jim plan a romantic outing at a seaside hotel but it doesn’t turn out as expected. There is disappointment for both of them. Betsy and Bubba are always on the lookout for a secluded place for making out, which often lands them in trouble. Bubba isn’t actually the ‘in-love’ guy; he will turn unfaithful given a chance.

Strengths and weaknesses

The story has some hilarious scenes and dialogues, though there are some scenes which could have been avoided. The scene when Jordan goes to the boys’ dorm was totally unnecessary.

The soundtrack is the plus point of the movie. The song, You’re Breaking My Heart gives a good start. But the song which stands out is ‘Just One Touch’, sung by Harry Wilson; awesome, to say the least.

The movie has a scene when the boys dress up as girls to get access to the girls’ hostel, in order to get close enough to see them undress. This scene is directly copied from the sit-com Bosom Buddies. There are other scenes too which give a feeling of déjà-vu. But they don’t seem forced and blend in perfectly with the storyline.

The movie doesn’t give out a message, but surely hints that it is any day better to stick to one partner than to run around with many.

My take

This is not an intelligent movie, and it doesn’t pretend to be one. No brains required for this one. Just grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back and watch with friends. Make sure no one is under-18 though………..

Shuchita Sharma