An Officer and a Gentleman didn’t invent the military-romance cliches that have haunted us ever since 1982 – 2006 alone gave us doppelgangers such as Annapolis and The Guardian, and of course there was Top Gun – but the movie was such an overwhelming, popular favorite that it essentially carved the cliches into stone. Richard Gere stars as Zack Mayo, a restless young soul who seeks to prove himself by enrolling in the Navy’s flight-training program. There he encounters hardships such as push-ups and painfully obvious nicknames, including Mayonnaise. All of this is delivered by an overacting Louis Gossett Jr. as Mayo’s tough-love instructor. The fact that Gosset spouts insults such as ‘sugar britches’ and goes mano a mano with Gere in a karate showdown and still won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar tells you all you need to know about the Academy Awards. The thrust of the story, however, is romantic. Mayo seeks comfort in the arms of Paula (Debra Winger), a local factory girl who makes her way through each class of naval recruits hoping to someday find a lasting love. What Mayo and Paula both find, for most of the film, is a lot of sex, and the two stars have enough raw physical chemistry to give An Officer and a Gentleman a veneer of soft-core passion. Yet when they open their mouths (at least to talk), clumsy screenwriting crutches come pouring out, mostly involving Mayo’s tortured guilt complex and Paula’s obvious daddy issues. It is telling, then, that the movie’s beloved climactic scene – when Mayo, in his shiny graduation-ceremony uniform, literally sweeps Paula off her feet at her factory – involves no dialogue. As long as you can stand the bombastic, synthesizer version of ‘Up Where We Belong’ on the soundtrack, you may even cry.