Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Movie Review: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (1982)

Image Source
Movie"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
Director: Amy Heckerling
Year: 1982
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

One school year in the life and times of the students at Ridgemont High School.

Cameron Crowe's book with the same name is based on the school where BigJ went to high school. #HumbleBragAgain

This is one of BigJ's favorite comedy films of all time. In fact, it's in his top 10 comedy movies. I contend that it's because it's based on his high school and that he's biased, but it's still a really great movie nonetheless. It deals with a lot of issues that are rather serious in nature, such as abortion, drugs, teenage sex versus relationships, working while in high school, friendships, etc. It does so in a rather frank manner and doesn't dumb it down for audiences. This movie also serves as a springboard for many notable actors. Sean Penn plays the now iconic Jeff Spicoli. No matter how big of a douchebag Penn is in real life, we'll always remember him as hang-ten Spicoli. Judge Reinhold plays Brad Hamilton and has his infamous masturbation scenes. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Brad's sex-obsessed younger sister Stacy, who has to deal with the ramifications of teenage sex. Phoebe Cates plays Linda, Stacy's best friend who is sexually experienced and is "engaged" to an older guy and in a long distance relationship. It also feature a slew of bit roles from bigger named actors such as Forest Whitaker, Eric Stolz, Anthony Edwards, and Nicolas Cage.

This movie is one of the forerunners in the teen sex comedy genre. It has a fantastic representation of what life was like for high school students in the 1980's. It's much deeper than just Spicoli and your average teen comedy, and it reveals a lot about society as a whole then and, to an extent, now. To some extent, many of the same issues parents and teacher deal with now were dealt with then, and at the time, we're sure it seemed like the world was ending because teenagers were just so damn disrespectful....and this was in a time before cell phones and the internet. Everything about this movie, from the soundtrack to the outfits to the language and slang used is so quintessentially 1980's that this could be the representative of the entire decade. Unlike other comedies in its genre, it doesn't use sex as a vehicle for gratuity, or as a vehicle for comedy. It's taken quite seriously, and you see the awkwardness and the embarrassment in the act, as well as the consequences of having sex as teenagers.

Though there is not really a discernible plot, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" boasts a host of hilarious dialogue and one-liners, classic characters, and mature themes within a comedic setting. It has stayed strong and relevant for decades and we will continue to enjoy it for many more to come!

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment