Fast Times At Ridgemont High - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fast Times At Ridgemont High Reviews

Page 2 of 265
½ April 10, 2016
Nostalgic in the warmest sense of the term, Fast Times at Ridgemont High offers an honest, bittersweet and above all fun excursion into the depths of teenage life with a remarkable cast, a lightly boisterous story and a great nonstop rock soundtrack.
March 30, 2016
If only they could make movies like this today. Few movies will ever come close the beauty of creativity of Fast Times. Its bold and painful and in the end joyful. I laughed so hard and will never forget this movie.
March 19, 2016
A charmingly accurate take on high school life
½ March 5, 2016
This is one funny and "erotic" 80's teen movie. This is the best funny and "erotic" 80's teen movie.
There are some actors that now are famous like Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn (Jeff Spicoli).
February 22, 2016
Not only does it have some hilarious bits, it has some home-hitting drama. Fast Times goes into unexpected and respectable territory when dealing with serious coming of age issues.
February 12, 2016
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is toted as being one of the best high school movies ever made, but I find myself more repulsed by it than nostalgically in love with what it has to offer. When prompting myself with the question of what kind of high school movie it is, I find myself in deep trouble in terms of explanation. I suppose its closest rival are all those 1980s John Hughes films, where teenage life was depicted as something poignant but realistic, sweet but not na´vely sketched.
But difference lies in the fact that "Pretty in Pink," "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles," and all their counterparts never really had much of a hard time knowing exactly what they were going for. They could be funny, but in a tactful, red-cheeked kind of way, and could be harshly dramatic with a very real sense of sentimentality for the days when being stood up for prom, when a friendship hit a bump, were the most traumatic things in life. To love Hughes's works is not a difficult task - they're made with such sympathy, such luminous likability, that we do more than just love its characters; we relate to them, as if they were childhood friends.
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High," however, is dependent on poorly crafted sex comedy and harsh drama without any sense of redemption, of feel-good quips that invite us to reminisce about our own youthful days. It tries to be a fun romp, but forgets that you can't be light and funny when abortion is a major theme, and when sex is obsessed over but is, when the times comes to make some whoopee, only met with punishment.
If it were a straight drama, I'd have a better time accepting the way it presents its warts and all treatment of high school. But when a movie is intent on being a comedy (it's considered to be one of the best by the American Film Institute), one would expect to feel light as a feather following the ending, gasping for more. And yet, I felt depressed, depressed by the way it exploits Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates, depressed by the way its teenagers are never portrayed as being much more than stereotypical movie teenagers, and you know there are more thoughtful, more intelligent kids at Ridgemont High. At least we get Mark "Rat" Ratner (Brian Backer), a genuinely nice guy who does get the girl but doesn't get nearly enough screen time to warm our deadened hearts.
Because this is a movie very much able to deaden one's optimistic, tenderized heart. In it, we are introduced to Stacy Hamilton (Leigh), a pretty fifteen-year-old determined to lose her virginity, her brother, Brad (Judge Reinhold), a senior jumping from minimum wage job to minimum wage job out of spite, Mike (Robert Romanus), a self-righteous ladies man and ticket scalper, Jeff (Sean Penn), a perpetual stoner with a strong love for surfing, and Linda (Phoebe Cates), Stacy's best friend and provider of X-rated relationship advice.
Cameron Crowe's screenplay (inspired by the experiences he had while posing as a high schooler for a freelance article) drifts back and forth between these characters, studying their relationships between one another like a sociologist on the prowl, and we find ourselves much more taken with the actors who play them than with the characters themselves. All possess a perky glow and have natural charisma, and it's a shame that such characteristics are obscured once they begin the process of embodying their characters. Amy Heckerling, making her directorial debut here, also has 1995's "Clueless" in her filmography, which is actually one of the best teen movies ever, and, fortunately, has been recognized as such much more passionately than "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" has in recent years. I suppose she handles the material as any director might, but didn't it bother her having Leigh and Cates endure objectification on both a physical level and in the way their characters are never seen as anything more than things to be fondled, to be punished?
Admittedly, the film does contain some good. We're touched by the first date that occurs between Rat and Stacy, which bears an unforced, winsome awkwardness that countless teenager have encountered during their young years; we love the clever ways the history teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), picks on Jeff for his lack of drive. Leigh (fresh faced), Backer (charmingly unconfident), Cates (knowingly sultry), and Reinhold (affably deadpan), all give performances that we perhaps like more because the performers are so radiant. But "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is a high school movie tormented by the very idea of choosing between piquancy and outright farce, and I'd rather spend my time with something soulful ("Flirting," "Clueless," "Dazed and Confused") than with something confused, piggish, oft sickening.
½ February 8, 2016
Introducing, Sean Penn! "Hey man, let's party!" is the classic line popularized in this film. This is a typical teen, high school, coming of age film indicative of the early 80s genre. This is a mediocre display of this genre. Watchable, but juvenile.
Kal X. Attenborough
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2016
A slightly surreal but extremely appealing look into teenage life in early 1980s America which explores many of the era's teenage issues from sex to working to tediously long food lines and people serving fries before they're fully prepared. Many today could see this as an overtly "nostalgic" film, but if it is, it's a pretty damn good nostalgia flick.
½ February 1, 2016
Pretty funny and a teen classic, quite original.
January 28, 2016
One of the funniest movies I have ever seen! Sean Penn is EXCELLENT!
½ December 31, 2015
In 8th graded I learned everything about high school by watching this movie. Watching it again there are so many interesting details--highly recommended.
December 15, 2015
Loved it. No plot. Fun high school film. Not so traditional. A couple romance angles. Fun plot about your regular group of stereotypes and the girl who you would think is the shy girl but wasn't at all. And crazy enough got pregnant. It's a lot of fun, it's a very good high school film with no particular point but about differnt age groups in different grades trying to make it through a year of high school.
November 13, 2015
One of the best 80s flicks.
November 11, 2015
Real details and sense of closeness to the era's youth. Captures trends in fashion and relationship as expected from a Heckerling film. Fun, but with a sense of seriousness about the business at hand - respectful of the subjects and human in approach even to teenage angst.
½ October 23, 2015
Amy Heckerling really gets teenagers and, while the film can't be called major in any way, you walk out afterwards feeling you've gotten some knowledge. And you'll never forget Sean Penn's performance.
October 20, 2015
awesome guilty pleasure comedy
½ September 20, 2015
Love this movie and Jason Leigh brightens up the screen
½ September 15, 2015
Very Funny 80s high school movie that is memorable because Sean Penn's excellent acting. Yet, I think that it could have been a better movie
½ August 22, 2015
A fun 80s teen comedy that made an interesting choice by not having a main character or story and opted instead for a snapshot of different teens lives. Sean Penns surfer character is the most memorable, yet no real story arch develops with him, and it actually doesn't need to.
"This is US History, I see the globe right there"
August 5, 2015
Even at this age Sean Penn looks like a complete creep.

Cute retro teen film though, if a bit painful.
Page 2 of 265