Skin Deep (1989)

Skin Deep Poster

Hard-drinking novelist Zach Hutton spirals out of control after his wife and mistress both leave him. Alone and crippled by a bad case of writer's block, Zach slips in and out of casual relationships and one-night stands, while his drinking becomes more and more severe. With the help of a bartender and his therapist, Zach confronts his demons — women and alcohol.

Film Overview
Skin Deep is a 1989 American romantic comedy directed by Blake Edwards, starring John Ritter. The movie checks out the circumstances of male chauvinism, combined with themes of remorse, repentance, and healing, all through satirical lenses. Ritter portrays Zachary "Zach" Hutton, a womanizing, alcoholic writer who must challenge his personal devils and reform his lifestyle to revive his stagnant career and fix up with previous lovers.

Plot Summary
The film starts with Zach, a once-successful author, leading a disorderly life. His addiction to alcohol and compulsive sexual habits has actually ended his effective profession and 2 marital relationships. His love for females leads him into a series of sexual escapades, resulting in amusing, and frequently, devastating effects. Zach's recklessness gradually interrupts his life, resulting in a range of dire situations that highlight his disarrayed individual and expert life.

His first better half, Alexandra (Alyson Reed), separates him mentioning his relentless extramarital relations while his 2nd other half, Molly (Joanna Kerns), leaves him over his rampant drinking. Despite these obstacles, Zach stops working to apologize and continues his downward spiral, endangering his continuous relationship with his new girlfriend, the fiery however encouraging Rebecca (Julianne Phillips).

Path to Redemption
Zach's path towards change comes when he learns more about the flight of his beloved horse, Alison, and the death of his daddy. This double disaster shakes him, leading to a moment of revelation about his self-destructive lifestyle. Zach starts going to Alcoholics Anonymous conferences, experiencing real-life horror stories of dependency, which mirror his behavior and give him a viewpoint on his own circumstance.

Conclusion and Symbolism
In the climax, a near-death experience makes Zach reassess his choices. Although he regressions quickly, he eventually decides to face his devils, picking sobriety, repairing his relationships, and restarting his writing career.

An iconic scene of the movie is the 'glow in the dark condom' scene, filled with humor and absurdity. This is symbolic of Zach's careless way of life and his look for love in incorrect places, and it has been commonly applauded for its crafted humor.

Reception & Critique
Despite its track record as an underrated film, Skin Deep is considered as one of Edwards' most individual pieces. The director, understood for his propensity for slapstick comedy and satire, utilizes the movie to dissect the male psyche, but critics have actually concerned argue that it does so without reducing the characters to clichés. John Ritter's performance garnered gratitude for embodying Zach's character perfectly, mixing his comical timing with the seriousness that the role demanded.

In conclusion, Skin Deep is a satirical narrative of a man's struggle with dependency and self-realization. Though filled with humor, the motion picture likewise maintains a raw, poignant undercurrent, making it a fine blend of comedy and drama. Despite its bawdy humor and candid representation of a guy's midlife crisis, the film is likewise compassionate at its core, representing a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

Top Cast

  • John Ritter (small)
    John Ritter
  • Vincent Gardenia (small)
    Vincent Gardenia
  • Alyson Reed (small)
    Alyson Reed
  • Joel Brooks (small)
    Joel Brooks
  • Julianne Phillips (small)
    Julianne Phillips
  • Chelsea Field (small)
    Chelsea Field
  • Peter Donat (small)
    Peter Donat
  • Don Gordon (small)
    Don Gordon
  • Nina Foch (small)
    Nina Foch
    Alex's Mother
  • Denise Crosby (small)
    Denise Crosby
  • Michael Kidd (small)
    Michael Kidd
    Dr. Westford