Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling – 1982) B-

Am I being too harsh with my grade here? Not sure. I just happened to have never seen this movie in its entirety but I heard a whole lot about it of course and I had seen bits and pieces. It was not really bad, had some good laughs, and of course Phoebe Cates, but I just do not think this is a classic that stood to the test of time. I also have a problem with the identity crisis here. We have screwball over-the-top comedy about high school students (mostly funny) and then we have a coming of age drama. The drama here is the pretty rough plot of  Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) involving an adult having sex with a minor and abortion among other things. I am not being a prude here, I’m just talking about good film making. These two genres can mix, but it is not an easy thing to do and it was not done right here.

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1 thought on “Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling – 1982) B-”

  1. I believe that B- is a fair grade when considering the whole film. Given the panoply of characters and of how one can recall many of them and their lines over time, the fact that we of the 80’s generation will leave it on if we happen to be flipping channels (unless we no longer have cable), perhaps those things demonstrate that cult films evolve to be recognized for more than is deserved artistically. I would call this a cult film, though not on a par with something like Lebowski.

    After all, how many at least tried the following one time:

    Damone’s Strategies for Dating Girls:
    “…And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.”

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