After I posted an image from Breaking Away recently, someone mentioned a similar sleeper film, the 1980 movie My Bodyguard. I had plain forgotten about that movie, although it was another one that I taped from TV and watched quite a few times in my junior high days.
My Bodyguard is an odd little film. Chris Makepeace -- whose name I haven't heard in years and years -- starred as Clifford, the new kid in a high school who decides he doesn't want to pay off the school bullies like everyone else. He decides to hire his own bodyguard, another teen who can intimidate the bullies. The cast includes Joan Cusack and Adam Baldwin in their (nearly) first film roles, and Matt Dillon as the lead bully. Jennifer Beals appears for a fleeting moment as one of the high-school kids.
The comic subplots in this movie are generally acknowledged to be rather weak and unmemorable, despite the supporting cast of excellent character actors: Ruth Gordon, Martin Mull, John Houseman, Tim Kazurinsky, George Wendt and Richard Cusack (Joan and John's dad). The part of the movie worth watching is the story of Baldwin's character Linderman, the big quiet kid, and how he interacts with Clifford and the other teens. I haven't seen My Bodyguard since high school, but now I'm feeling an urge to rent it and see if I like it as much as I did then. Besides, I last saw Baldwin as Jayne in Serenity and I'd love to contrast that with his role in this film.