I Saw A Film!
Made for TV and top heavy with television stars including Lumpy, Wally and Eddie Haskell from Leave It To Beaver, Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver from Dobie Gillis, Angela Cartwright who was Penny on Lost In Space, an early role for Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, Anthony Edwards from Revenge of the Nerds (soon after), Dana Plato (Diff’rent Strokes), Crystal Bernard (wings) and Nancy McKeon (Facts of Life) and finally Michael J. Fox. There’s more, this thing is a gift that keeps giving with recognizable faces, even if sometimes covered in huge black Ray Charles blind-glasses (Steven Franken!).
There’s nothing important in the story of MJF trying to date NM under the nose of AE. And the movie is basically just a string of stunts and gags finally culminating in the boys stealing Gilligan’s Trans Am back when such was a new sportscar and wrecking it. Then, with the help of of the one black kid, who fulfills the science nerd trope (He’s already built a full on AI robot that would rival anything at MIT right now) while wearing a bow-tie, they rebuild the car and race the cool kid (Anthony Edwards, who later becomes super dork in Revenge o’ the Nerds).
In this film, the girls drill a hole in the wall to view the boys locker room. Thereby reversing early on the usual trope of the fellows giving in to their baser instincts. Though the ladies are after a photograph of “nature” and have decided a certain fellow’s behind is perfect for the winning photo (hello Tina Belcher).
Love takes a pretty serious back seat in this pile of dogs chasing steaks hidden in kid’s backpacks, or dolts falling out of trees type jokes. And as is typical of these sorts of stories, all the good stuff happens in the hallways and on the telephone outside of high school. High school is just a strange party where all the kids have to show up. Having just graduated high school myself when this movie was released I could say that it was the sorriest experience of my life to date. And the only thing I recognized was the mullets all the girls wore.
This film is a lot of fun for spotting all the old players and some about to become stars, and a small few would soon meltdown and be gone (Plato). But it’s also fun for all the gags we’d see used again more successfully. At least there were no serious problems tackled. No racism or religious oppression overcome. It’s just a silly kids movie.
Free On Prime (usa).