Sunday, January 4, 2015

286 of 1001 Movies: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

I've watched many coming of age movies from the 80's. I can't think of any I disliked, but I was also thinking how can you top The Breakfast Club? I'm not sure that question is answered. Fast Times at Ridgemont High sits at the top of some of my favorites though like the mentioned one and Say Anything. Cameron Crowe differs from John Hughes in a lot of ways though. Crowe offers a portrait of teens that looks at them more as people with the same burgeoning questions of adulthood, but still perceived as kids. Amy Heckerling is the director though, and if you've seen Clueless then you are familiar with her work.

Summary: Brad and Stacy Hamilton are two siblings experiencing two different struggles with their high school years. Brad is bored with his girlfriend and tired of his job. Stacy is worried about beginning a relationship, and with the popular, Linda, as her friend it brings out other insecurities as well of what she may not be aspiring to do. She finds herself perhaps in a love triangle with two brothers though.There is also Jeff, who is living a carefree life of surfing and weed. When he is assigned the strict, Mr. Hand, their differing personalities collide.

My favorite character was Jeff, but every character fits into this movie well, and to some extent I think all their high school woes can be felt. Sean Penn is in one of his best roles here though. He embodies what Jeff is all about, and makes him the least unlikable guy there is. You can't help but wonder how Mr. Hand can't cut this guy a break?

Brad, portrayed by Judge Reinhold, is a guy that is perhaps the most easy to relate to though, at least job wise if you're not a teen anymore.  He has been responsible for a teen, but now he's feeling the stir of wanting to get a bit adventurous as he nears the end of paying off his car. When things fall apart he seems to be reconsidering just how adventurous he wanted to be though. His younger sister, Stacy now offers some of the harsher scenarios in the movie. Jennifer Jason Leigh does a good job of presenting it in a way that the audience can take in and try to understand as well. The issues she encounters with trying to fit in, and even deeper events of the results of trying to fit in are ones that still seem present today.

Along with the very memorable story lines, there is also one of the most iconic scenes in movies that the movie depicts. If you were watching National Lampoon Christmas Vacation this past season you probably noticed a very similar dream sequence scene. Not only would it spawn that scene, but also a hit soundtrack and a television show.

I didn't have any complaints with this, but the reason this show seemed so easy to inspire a television show with is it follows so many people it creates many stories that are stories you want to follow.  I also recommend giving the soundtrack a listen. It adds something extra to the movie, and truly sets you in the time of the 80's. Not only that, but for the time the issues conveyed and dealt with are quite edgy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...