Some Kind of Wonderful - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Some Kind of Wonderful Reviews

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July 14, 2017
This was the only John Hughes film from his 80s heyday that I had not seen back in the day. I remember seeing the previews for this and when Mary Stuart Masterson says, "The only things I care about in this goddamn life are me and my drums and you" I scoffed and wrote the film off. I shouldn't have because this was a very endearing and sincere teen drama. The film is a love triangle between working class Eric Stoltz, who is crushing on rich girl Lea Thompson, who's also best friends will fellow working class tomboy Mary Stuart Masterson, who is also crushing on Stoltz. What made this film more interesting than most is how the relationships play out. Thompson only agrees to go on a date with Stoltz as a way to get back at her jerk rich boyfriend, Craig Sheffer, who she just broke up with. None of Thompson's friends think she should go out with Stoltz, and all of the other kids, including Masterson, tell Stoltz she's only going out with him to get back at her ex-boyfriend. Thompson (SPOILER ALERT) never seems interested in Stoltz and I think that's where this film get a bit more interesting than most, taking a less obvious of standard love triangle. There is a bit of suspense whether Thompson will actually start to like Stoltz the way he likes her, but the main drama is whether Stoltz will realize that he should be with Masterson. I wasn't really sure how this film was going to play out, which is always good for a film. Hughes' "Pretty in Pink" has the rich boy casting aside the aspersions of his snooty friends to end up with the cute working class girl. That film's original script was supposed to have had a different ending, with Molly Ringwald ending up with Ducky, but that ending was re-shot after test audiences didn't it (Cryer was clearly playing Ducky as gay, so there was never really any real romantic tension there, so the change was the right choice). This film retains Pretty in Pink's original ending, which may have been the impetus for re-writing what is essentially the same class conflict love triangle. Another strength of this film is it's strong supporting cast, which includes the sadly underused John Ashton as Stoltz' gruff but understanding father and Elias Koteas looking very young as a punk rock bad boy who helps out Stoltz, which is a hoot to watch. And look for a very young Candace Cameron as one of Stoltz' younger sisters. Overall, when it comes to class warfare love triangles, this film is certainly not "A Place in the Sun" and although it is not as iconic as "Pretty in Pink," it does feature strong performances by the three leads, well rounded characters you believe and care about, and a very realistic and identifiable love story. All around, this is a solid 1980s teen drama that deserves to be remembered alongside "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink."
½ July 10, 2017
Good romantic/coming of age 80s film
January 2, 2017
You should check out the DVD commentary by husband and wife Howard Deutch and Lea Thompson. It's deep.
August 20, 2016
Eric Stoltz stars in this teen drama about a high school student who has an eye for the popular girl but hr is insecure, scared, and maybe a bit sensitive so he asks his lesbian friend (not really but she's so tomboy he probably thought so) to help him with winning the popular Lea Thompson over but he's totally unaware of his female friends secret crush on him. Look, in many ways this John Hughes entry is no different than his previous "Pretty in Pink" but just like the aforementioned film, this drama is a wonderful look into the lives of real teenage characters.
July 18, 2016
Last of the John Hughes teen movies, and it's pretty clear that he'd already said everything he had to say. Thematically similar to Pretty in Pink, Hughes's preceding collaboration with director Howard Deutch, Wonderful isn't half as charming in either script or performance. It's a wishy-washy, often boring take on the same old "us versus them" concept, wrapped up in the hopeless chase of the school beauty. Age has been a stretch for these films before (Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez were in their mid-20's for The Breakfast Club) but the acting has always been good enough to make us forget. This time, without any of the Brat Pack regulars, there's something missing; it constantly feels like adult stars forced into adolescent roles. Lea Thompson seems like she's on her way to interview for a news broadcasting gig, and approximately 75% of the school wears shoulder pads of one variety or another. None of it feels authentic. The performances are almost universally hollow and vacant, too, especially from leading man Eric Stolz, who looks and acts like a mannequin. It has a few redeeming moments, particularly a shining small part for Elias Koteas as a punk rock musclehead, and a good message, but otherwise it's passionless fodder. I guess all good things must come to an end.
½ June 15, 2016
The plot idea may have been old and tired by the time this movie was made, but Mary Stuart Masterson carried this movie like nothing else. Lea Thompson was a big childhood crush after BTTF, but Mary was (and still is) in a different league after this film.
June 6, 2016
One of my all time favorites! The acting is superb, and of course the acting is spot on as you would expect from John Hughes.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
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.
½ May 7, 2016
That was a cute little movie. I didn't find myself particularly caring about any of the characters and do not support the regifting of the earrings, but I liked the general ending of yeah you can live happily ever after being in love but you can also live happily ever after on your own if the right person has yet to arrive.
½ February 26, 2016
The music and the story itself, so honest and beautiful. John Hughes could hardly disappoint me.
½ January 10, 2016
This is pretty much a reverse version of Pretty in Pink, with pretty redhead Eric Stoltz stepping in for pretty redhead Molly Ringwald. The plot is virtually the same, although I like this one better because Stoltz is better than Ringwald, Leah Thompson is better than Andrew McCarthy, and Mary Stuart Masterson is way better than Jon Cryer.
December 15, 2015
I liked Some Kind of Wonderful more than I thought I would. It's not just a romantic comedy. It's a fun movie about growing up and finding yourself. It's about learning to be true to yourself no matter what others think of you. Plus it does have a nice little love triangle. I loved all the performances here. Eric Stoltz played this role so perfectly. It's a very understated performance. I loved his character. I think this movie actually holds up very well. It's not overly cheesy or over the top. This is just a really good movie with a great cast.
November 9, 2015
Ferris Bueller's Day Off,Home Alone,The Breakfast Club,Sixteen Candles,Baby's Day Out,Dennis the Menace,Pretty in Pink and this one *_*
John Hughes for president!!
Typical John Hughes genre movie with some incredible soundtracks.
June 4, 2015
slow as molasses. So stupid -- why would he choose a party at her ex-boyfriend's house as his first date with the girl? Imagine that question hanging in the air for an hour and 36 minutes -- or was it hours?
½ May 11, 2015
It's no Pretty in Pink but it's still a great 80s teen movie that still resonates today.
February 20, 2015
Although this is basically Pretty in Pink with the genders reversed, I enjoyed it.
October 19, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Some Kind of Wonderful was a film that I have seen roughly around 5-6 years ago, during the height of my 80s/John Hughes addiction; but I have always felt that this was a misstep for Hughes and stands very small against the rest of his high school screenplays. My sister has told me many times that Some Kind of Wonderful is a response to the disappointed audiences of Pretty in Pink's conclusion. Watching this now, my memory of Pretty in Pink is pretty vague but if there is one thing I do remember, and after this viewing, I can boldly say that Pretty in Pink is a much better crafted movie than Some Kind of Wonderful; down to the script, direction, performances, and soundtrack.

John Hughes' screenplay revolves around a middle class boy, Keith who works at a gas station and is best friends with a tomboy drummer, Watts. Keith falls in love with a gorgeous socialite, Amanda Jones, and manages to get a date with her, but not everyone around him is pleased with it. Some Kind of Wonderful attempts to reach beyond its shallow storyline about social class and the selfish intentions that people would go through in order to maintain or reach that desired class. The film could have succeeded in exploring this if it didn't shape its story too heavily, and by that I mean the characters in this film feels too aware of their mature issues and handles it in such a way that does not feel appropriate to their age groups. This obsession with social class also connects with the obsession that some of the characters in this film have with their personal insecurities. I think this would have provided deep insight of its characters if it was emphasised enough by Howard Deutch's direction or Hughes' script.

Self-awareness is a significant trait that everyone must strive to gain but for one to have complete awareness, especially during a youthful age where it is very uncommon, is almost unbelievable when projected on screen. I think it would have worked if only one or two characters truly had the answer or are fully aware of their and society's flaws but in this film, almost every single one had something extremely important to claim or convey to its audience and due to this, I felt a little bombarded.

The film also touches on an interesting relationship between father and son, which is a safe recipe for family drama, but this film does not expose enough of it, to make it such a serious issue; the characters only seem to deal with the problem when it arises, we do not get to see how their relationship impact each other outside the heated arguments.

Some Kind of Wonderful features generic performances from its cast, with Eric Stoltz coming out as the strongest of key cast members. Stoltz played the isolated "loser" character, Keith Nelson, strongly but lacked that punch that Jon Cryer was able to deliver in Pretty in Pink. Lea Thompson does decently as the sexy Amanda Jones, relying more on her ability to physically attract rather than to emotionally impact. Mary Stuart Masterson was kind of forgettable here, which is frustrating as her role was meant to be this character that stands out from the rest. I was, however, impressed with Elias Koteas who plays this rebellious punk, balancing fear and comedy through his dialogue delivery and facial expressions.

Out of John Hughes' screenwriting filmography, Some Kind of Wonderful is his most disappointing, at least from what I have yet seen, due to its easy to follow storyline but difficult to connect with characters.
September 29, 2014
Just another classic in the John Hughes collection.
½ September 14, 2014
About time! The nice, artistic "ginger" guy gets the girl. He makes a lot of stupid, head-scratching decisions in the process though. Nearly kills the ending.
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