I Saw A Film!

One of those classic rom-com fantasies in which we’re taught that the way to the girl’s heart is to pursue her relentlessly, including sleeping on her lawn and beating up her BF. It’s fun to think about the fact that baby Nick Cage is actually two to four years younger than the ladies playing teens in this thing, which isn’t much really, but when you’re playing high school kids in your twenties (actually Cage may be 19) . . . you keep wondering who the intended audience is (or, you perfectly understand that it’s not teens). And there’s a general hilarity of realizing how long we’ve been around watching these overly contrived “teen” rom-coms (to point a fine point on it I’m six months younger than Nick!).

What we have here is a magical world of California where The Plimsouls are installed at a local bar that lets teens hang out after their day at the beach, and very relaxed parents are still wearing the shoes they wore at Woodstock (but not Altamont!), and every kid accomplishes everything at the party they crash to meet the cute chick who stares at them so they know they’re in. Remember? No? Yeah that’s because it only works like that in bad movies! It’s a chance to see Elizabeth Daily topless, and the stars necking under a Circle Jerks flyer-and while there’s no punk rock in the movie, we’re meant to consider Nick’s portrayal of Randy as “punk”. OK I’m being kind of snobby here, there’s nothing happening in this film that isn’t done pretty much the same way with different actors and clothes and music over and over, year after year, and to the tune of big bucks. People love these things. Hell even I love a few of them (High Fidelity and perhaps Adventureland).

If you’re an English Beat and Sparks fan that’s the “punk” rock you’re getting. Nothing wrong with it, but well, we’re in California! Why not the Minutemen or X, why not Black Flag, why not the Circle Jerks? It forever annoyed me that films like Pretty In Pink couldn’t even bother having the actual Psychedelic Furs version of their song. Was that too harsh? [incidentally Richard Butler says the film totally missed the point of the girl in the song being naked, not literally in a pretty pink dress!] The Furs do have a soundtrack appearance (“Love My Way”) here, but again they’re in California! Why not send some money to the reference point you’re aiming at? Ah, I promised I wouldn’t lecture here.

Watching Cage play the out of control and drunk Randy as he mopes around having gotten ditched by the fluffy-headed Julie is sort of rotten though. You feel like if he’s actually that lacking in self-control (and at one point he picks a pretty serious and stupid fight) maybe he’s really not such a great mate! Of course, we’re also familiar with Cage’s entire career so it’s a lot of fun to kind of measure his skill maturation . . . and . . . well, he’s not really added much to the reservoir! Aw, I’m being tough here, but I honestly can’t tell you that he’s come a long way. Each time he does that little excited scream he uses (it’s at least twice in this movie) you’re immediately jerked out to one of his later roles doing much the same thing. Heck it worked for him, should I really criticize?

For nada on Prime! Good for a laugh with all the young faces and some “Hollywood” early teen 80s movie style where you don’t go to school until it’s prom. Incidentally, the poster looks like it was created by someone who hadn’t even seen a still from the actual production. That doesn’t even look like Deborah!

Incidentally for kids in school done right please binge Pen15 immediately.

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