Fast Times At Ridgemont High Reviews
Good fun movie. An 80's classic with all the typical high school happenings. In this film you cann see a whole lot of young hollywood stars which made it big and other who didn't. Even Nicholas Cage made a cameo in this film when he still went as his original birth name Nicholas Coppola, he later changed his name so he can grow in the acting business and not be overlook in the Coppola family business.
Follows a group of high school students growing up in southern California, based on the real-life adventures chronicled by Cameron Crowe. Stacy Hamilton and Mark Ratner are looking for a love interest, and are helped along by their older classmates, Linda Barrett and Mike Damone, respectively. The center of the film is held by Jeff Spicoli, a perpetually stoned surfer dude who faces off with the resolute Mr. Hand, who is convinced that everyone is on dope.
The film follows a group of high school students over the course of a school year, focusing on three main storylines in particular. It's got a very loose episodic feel to it, and, even though I like that sort of thing occasionally, it didn't really work for me here. The film feels a little too jumbled and sporadic. Maybe it should have been more clear with the passage of time ot more tightly focused or something. I think they could have just followed one of these characters more, then restricted the rest to less focus. That could have been better. Instead, the film tries to do a bit much, but given the running time, everything becomes rushed.
I can look at this film nostalgically, as it was before my time, but I can appreciate it as camp or kitsch, and on that level, it's pretty damn fun. Part of the time. There are some dips into serious territroy, and I think they do work for the most part. I'm not like Ebert who called this film mysoginistic and a scuzz pit (or something). The film does sport a (now) very very notable cast, and the performances are really good, especially from scene stealers Sean Penn and Ray Walston. Cates, Leigh, and Reinhold all do quite well also.
I was a bit disappointed that this film didn't quite live up to all the hype,but it does capture the times pretty decently, and there are some good moments and laughs, plus I was never bored, so yeah. Give this one a shot, bud.
Fast Times At Ridgemont High is the best teen comedy ever made and one of the best comedies period. Sean Penn really shines in an early role as Spicoli. He is hilarious, especially when he's on screen with Mr. Hand(Ray Walston). The scene where Spicoli orders pizza is one of the best. The rest of the cast does really well also. Judge Reinhold and Jennifer Jason Leigh are very good as a brother sister combo. Robert Romanus is good as the jackass that every school has. Then there's really small roles for people who would go on to be huge stars such as Forest Whitaker and Nicholas Cage. The movie also features a great soundtrack.
The story is woven between several smaller stories that all include students from the same year. Each actor and actress brings something different to the screen and its all pretty educational too.
If you want an 80s movie to watch. Then give this a go. Its great fun.
I have a budding appreciation for the 80's. I was just a wee tyke during the later part of that decade, so I don't remember anything about those years. But all the teen movies that I've seen have led me to believe it was an awesome and corny time to be an adolescent.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one of the iconic movies from that era, and that reputation is richly deserved. It still holds up very well today. It starred younger versions of a bevy of today's biggest stars, like Forest Whitaker and Sean Penn, alongside some of the names that were synonymous with the 80's, like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates. It's very much an ensemble movie, with a collection of characters and scenarios that range from light-hearted (Penn) to more dramatic (Leigh).
The script was courtesy of the talented Cameron Crowe, who adapted it from a book that he re-entered high school to research as he was writing it. As a result, this wasn't a simple sex romp or teen comedy. Sure, it was pretty funny in parts, but it also dealt with the sometimes heavy issues that teens were wrestling with back then (and are still tackling today). The twists and turns of teenage relationships, unplanned pregnancies, jobs, abortions, and the like, are touched on in a genuine (if simplified) manner. Even so, this movie is a lot more evenly split between comedy and social commentary than The Breakfast Club was, for example.
Movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High are pretty ageless. It's not a bad idea to give it a viewing if you missed it the first time around. I'm glad that I did.