Joel Goodsen

Joel Goodsen

    Risky Business
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in his parents' mansion in the Chicago suburbs. It's a nice place, but Joel can’t wait to graduate from high school. He finds the house stifling, since his parents are always putting pressure on him to do well in school. They think needs to go to Princeton like his Dad, and though he figures he'll never get in with his grades, they've already arranged an interview for him.

Profession... high school senior. SATs are coming up, and Joel's been having the same nightmare about it. The dream starts off well, with a naked woman in a shower, but always ends with the same scenario: with just three minutes to finish the test.

Interests... having a good time. Most of the time, though, he doesn't get a chance to have much fun. So when his parents leave for a weekend, Joel goes wild, sneaking alcohol from his parents’ liquor cabinet, driving his Dad’s Porsche, and dancing around in his underwear to Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll.

Relationship Status... involved with the beautiful prostitute Lana. Joel met Lana thanks to his high school friend Miles, and she's nothing like the girls he knows. As he puts it, "It was great the way her mind worked. No guilt, no doubts, no fear. None of my specialties. Just the shameless pursuit of immediate gratification." Of course, high school seniors rarely find lasting love with prostitutes, so this relationship figures to face plenty of challenges.

Challenge... not getting arrested. By accident (sort of), he’s turned into a pimp and his parent’s house is now a bordello. Lana convinced Joel to throw a party, but things got out of hand when she invited all her prostitute friends. Joel's terrified the police are going to come, but on the upside, he's pretty sure he can make a lot of money before that happens.

Personality... well-meaning, stressed-out, a little overwhelmed. Joel likes to have a good time, but he always feels guilty about it since his parents want him to be more serious about his future, and sometimes he thinks they're right. But Lana changes all that. She teaches him to let all the guilt go. While she might not be a good influence, Joel knows that whatever happens, he's not going to forget this night for a long time.


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