Some Kind of Wonderful

Critics Consensus

Some Kind of Wonderful is above-average '80s teen fare for people who need as much John Hughes in their lives as possible.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 37,918
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Movie Info

In a gender-reversed version of his previous hit Pretty in Pink, John Hughes retreads all-too- familiar ground in Some Kind of Wonderful, the story of a sensitive, young would-be artist, Keith (Eric Stoltz), who vies for the affection of his high school's popularity queen, Amanda (Lea Thompson), seemingly out of some deep-rooted insecurity regarding his social ineptitude. He enlists the help of his butch best friend and fellow misfit, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), unaware that she secretly pines for him. While she goads him to give up his pointless pursuit of Amanda, he encounters one other small obstacle -- Amanda's rich bully of a boyfriend, Hardy (Craig Sheffer), who threatens Keith with a face rearrangement. Undeterred, Keith decides he will, by any means necessary, escort his dream girl to the prom -- but not before he buys her expensive jewelry with the money from his college fund in order to impress her. (Hughes expects the audience to side with Keith when his father protests.) Some Kind of Wonderful is pure fantasy, but the plot is too tired and flawed for it to be completely satisfactory escapism. Still, the performances are all-around good and the ending is slightly more likeable than its predecessor's. Hughes decided to use the original Pretty in Pink ending, which had been dropped from the original after poor audience response at the advance screenings.

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Eric Stoltz
as Keith Nelson
Mary Stuart Masterson
as Watts/"Drummer Girl"
Lea Thompson
as Amanda Jones
Craig Sheffer
as Hardy Jenns
John Ashton
as Cliff Nelson
Elias Koteas
as Skinhead
Maddie Corman
as Laura Nelson
Jane Elliot
as Carol Nelson
Carmine Caridi
as Museum Guard
Lee Garlington
as Gym Instructor
Peter Elbing
as Maitre d'
Patricia Gaul
as Mrs. Gale
Ken Kimmins
as Detention Teacher
James MacDonald
as Hardy's Friend
J. Patrick McNamara
as Fight Teacher
James Vallely
as Carparker
Steve Alterman
as Party Guest
Pamela Anderson
as Party Guest
Cathy Cavadini
as Party Guest
Ike Eisenmann
as Party Guest
Deborah Fallender
as Party Guest
Noelle Harling
as Party Guest
Vernon Scott
as Party Guest
Barbara Iley
as Party Guest
Paige Pollack
as Party Guest
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Critic Reviews for Some Kind of Wonderful

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for Some Kind of Wonderful

  • May 20, 2016
    Such an endearing movie. Yes, it's predictable, and uses the time-honored romantic comedy formula of the friend who was there under one's nose all along being the 'true love' in the end (that's hardly a spoiler folks), but it's very well done, and I've always loved it. Mary Stuart Masterson and Eric Stoltz turn in sweet performances as non-conformist high school kids (her a tomboy, him an artist, both mechanics) trying to find not only love but also their paths in life. Lea Thompson is the popular girl Stoltz falls for and pursues, and turns in a strong performance as well - if you get a chance, watch her facial expressions in the scene where she slaps her rich boyfriend, played well by Craig Sheffer. But Masterson is the one to watch here: tough, funny, and incredibly pretty. John Hughes had a quite a run in the mid-late 80's, and in producing/writing this film, I consider it among his best work. What a fantastic last line, "You look good wearing my future", and final song, a very nice cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" by English band Lick the Tins, capping off a great soundtrack. This one makes me smile.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2013
    With the help of a friend-zoned tomboy, a mechanic pursues his high school's troubled beauty queen. By itself, this is an inoffensive John Hughes classic. Dealing with all of Hughes's normal themes of high school alienation and class differences, the film's optimistic and charming story work. However, it doesn't take a genius to see that Some Kind of Wonderful is a gender-reversed Pretty In Pink, and there we find some notable issues. Spoiler Alert: the protagonist ends up with his friend, not the slightly upper class object of his affections, but in Pretty in Pink the female protagonist finds love with the upper class prep boy. Why the difference? Could it be that the woman, unable to procure a stable living without the help of an economically viable husband, must choose a mate based on earning potential whereas the man is able to choose based on affection and loyalty, qualities that are far more likely to result in a viable relationship? It seems so, which bespeaks a sexism that I haven't seen in Hughes's other work. Overall, I enjoyed the film until I thought about it.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2013
    Some Kind of Wonderful is a terrific drama that boasts some wonderful performances and a good story. Although it is not a great film, it is still worth seeing. Overall this is a good film that is imperfect, but due to its cast and effective script by John Hughes. The drama elements work well and Hughes has crafted a well rounded film that has something for every viewer. Although not perfect, the film is very entertaining and like every other one of Hughes productions, it concerns teenage issues and it is a well rounded movie that offers much more than what you'd think. The film is directed by Howard Deutch, and even then he keeps all the signatures which makes for a worthwhile John Hughes storyline. Although the filmmakers recycle a few things from Pretty in Pink, the film still works well enough. Along with the drama, there are a few humorous bits here and there, and the result is a good film that is worth seeing if you Hughes's work. Luckily there are few flaws in this one, and the well written script overcomes the film's weaknesses sand makes for a really relatable film. Like with every other films that John Hughes has written or directed, this is a charming film that is worth seeing and is still relevant to new viewers and old viewers. The film is flawed, but is worth seeing. Even if it's nothing really new in terms of plot, Some Kind of Wonderful has heart and for that it is a well crafted movie that is engaging from start to finish. John Hughes was a great director and screenwriter and with this one, he is able turn recycled ideas that into something that is quite good due to his writing ability as an effective screenwriter.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2011
    Lea Thompson is sooooo pretty it's no wonder the protagonist was obsessed with her. The love triangle situation was handled with panache, and the kissing scene, where Mary Stuart Masterson literally shakes from toe to tingle with desire - is the one of the best of its kind.
    Jennifer X Super Reviewer

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