Romance is timeless and if you have a taste for the romantic love stories, this is one that will definitely suit your heart. No matter what time period you were born in, An Officer and a Gentleman is a bit hit for the young and old.
The classic film tells the story of Zack Mayo (played by Richard Gere), a US Flight Officer who struggles through basic training and falls in love with Paula Pokrifki (played by Debra Winger) Louis Gossett, Jr. plays the tough gunnery sergeant who won’t let up on Zack.
An Oscar winning song "Up Where We Belong" brought tears to the eyes of many romantic dreamers when it first came out and continues to do so each time it is played.
The film begins with Zack in a dirty old apartment living with his brash, womanizing father who had formerly been stationed at Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Some early flashbacks to the alleyways of the Philippines set the stage for Zack’s hard core character but also show a soft side to him as well. Zack announces his dream to be a Navy pilot and his father only laughs. Soon after, he arrives at the 13-week long aviation officer candidate school and encounters Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley (played by Louis Gossett, Jr.) who will soon become his nemesis.
While in training, Zack and his friend meet two factory workers, Paula and Lynette, who take the cocky officer candidates to bed soon after. The girls both want to escape their blue-collar lives and become "aviator" wives.
Although Mayo sees a better future for himself and is not interested in being serious with Paula, he begins to mature and mend his old ways. His friend is a bit hasty in love, however, and quits the program to propose marriage. Zack’s struggle with Paula proves to be worth the wait but not before a tragic suicide attempt sends the story into a downward spiral.
Richard Gere argued against the ending of the film saying it wouldn't work because it was too sentimental. The Director was inclined to agree with Gere until the critical changes were shown to each of them, sending chills up the back of their necks.
Gere is now convinced the director made the right decision about this remarkable movie that still brings lovers to tears 25 years later. Roger Ebert described An Officer and A Gentleman as "a wonderful movie precisely because it's so willing to deal with matters of the heart." Indeed, this is one for the books when it comes to romance. Don’t miss An Officer and a Gentleman.