August 14, 2012

"The film 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' was released 30 years ago today..."

"... and if there's a better line reading in the history of American cinema than Sean Penn's 'You dick' to Mr. Hand, I don't think I know it."

Says Throwing Things.

54 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Phoebe Cates!

Discuss.

wyo sis said...

Throwing Things has a low standard.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, Wyo. Sean Penn was phenomenal in that role.

LoafingOaf said...

That movie doesn't hold up very well when you watch it in 2012.

Senator Blutarsky said...

Fast Times as barometer of social norms:

In a dream sequence, Stu Nahan interviews Sean Penn about a surfing competition, and asks him about his competitors, to which Penn replies dismissively, "Those guys are fags!"

In 1982 it was a punch line; I caught the movie on a cable network a year or two back and "fags" was bleeped out.

My personal preference would be to have no epithets bleeped out, nonetheless it struck me as an encouraging marker of how much attitudes toward homosexuality have changed since then.

Revenant said...

That movie doesn't hold up very well when you watch it in 2012.

I see Oaf's lack of good judgment extends beyond the political realm.

Senator Blutarsky said...

Also, 2 of the first 3 comments are negative about Fast Times? What gives?

I submit that Fast Times at Ridgemont High is the Citizen Kane of the teen sex comedy genre. Jeff Spicoli begat Joel Goodsen, who begat Walter Gibson, who begat Ferris Bueller.

It featured an all-star cast, from Sean Penn and Jennifer Jason Leigh to young Nicholas Coppola.

And while Orson Welles peaked with Citizen Kane, Amy Heckerling went on to direct Clueless, once again capturing the zeitgeist of a new generation of kids.

Revenant said...

I've argued before that the golden age of high school dramedy stretched from Fast Times to Say Anything -- the former being Cameron Crowe's screenwriting debut, the latter his directoral debut.

Seven Machos said...

Risky Business is the Citizen Kane, but Fast Times is glorious and awesome at capturing the zeitgeist of that particular time and place like down to the month. The mall, the hair, the various people -- everything. Even the music is exactly right (proven by the fact that it would all change radically in just two short years). At the same time, Fast Times captures the eternal pain and pleasure of teen existence such that it is perfectly understandable today.

Incidentally, Crowe's book/article apparently had Spicoli as a pretty insufferable jerk, not a loveable jerk.

yashu said...

I haven't seen Fast Times in a while so don't hold me to it, but I think I prefer a later film about a slightly earlier time, Dazed and Confused.

Say Anything's great.

LoafingOaf said...

Revenant: "I see Oaf's lack of good judgment extends beyond the political realm."

This clown said Sarah Palin should have been TOP OF THE TICKET in 2008. Here we are in 2012 and Palin can't even speak at the GOP convention.

edutcher said...

Considering it's the picture that gave us Sean Penn, the ultimate Vulgarian, its release is nothing worth noting.

Jimmy said...

You know this one was a favorite of the "choom gang"

Freeman Hunt said...

Throwing Things has a low standard.

Yes.

Robert Cook said...

DAZED AND CONFUSED "is glorious and awesome at capturing the zeitgeist of that particular time and place like down to the month. The mall, the hair, the various people -- everything."

I "appropriate" (not plagiarize) 7 Machos' remark about FAST TIMES, (which I've never seen) and apply it to D & C, which has such verisimilitude it's like I'm watching a documentary made at the time of the era it documents, so closely does it feel like my senior year of high school, (which was elsewhere in the south than Texas, and a couple of years earlier than the film's setting).

Curious George said...

"Seven Machos said...
Phoebe Cates!

Discuss."

Quarts!

Icepick said...

Ray Walston made everything better.

purplepenquin said...

This movie inspired me to have a pizza delivered to me while I was in HS history class....which was a pretty neat accomplishment, 'cause Pizza Hut didn't even offer delivery at the time.

Icepick said...

You know this one was a favorite of the "choom gang"

I wouldn't be surprised if Obama didn't care for this movie. He was already in college by this time, walking around in a sarong reading T. S. Elliot aloud to his (composite) girlfriend after sex. He was probably far too snotty to like such a film

virgil xenophon said...

Penn's line: "Hey Bud! Let's party!" is THE memorable line and visual face of that movie..

Icepick said...

Penn's line: "Hey Bud! Let's party!" is THE memorable line and visual face of that movie..

Um, NO. That would be Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool wearing a bikini and a "fuck me!" smile.

prairie wind said...

I loved Fast Times. Haven't seen it in years (decades?) but I think it would stand up well. Fast Times, Risky Business, Say Anything, The Sure Thing...all great movies. Fast Times had some great moments, some really funny moments. It also had some incredibly sad moments.

Dazed and Confused, though, I didn't even want to see. Maybe I missed something there or maybe I was too old when it came out.

jr565 said...

It's an overrated movie, but it does have it's charms. I enjoy the Spicoli moments, and the Judge Rheinhold stuff, not to mention Phoebe Cates (!!!), but the romance angle was pretty lame.
It works as a movie with a bunch of vignettes, but the whole isn't greater than the sum of it's parts.

Why, though do we have the Sean Penn of today and not the Sean Penn of 30 years ago. What's in the water in hollywood that warped Spicoli into someone who suppports Hugo Chavez?

CatherineM said...

What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too!

LincolnTf said...

From the age of 11 to about 16, I considered "Fast Times" to be firat and foremost an instructional video.

Lem said...

Never saw Fast Times..

Even thirty years later, how many other mainstream American films have featured a character having an abortion, other than Dirty Dancing?

Last American Virgin (1982)

CatherineM said...

It's not over rated. As a moment in time, it still holds up as entertainment. I am not a teen now so I am unable to judge how it holds up in regards to teen life today. I am pretty sure teens do not wear the "Pat Benatar look," but I am sure they try to look like current stars.

It was pre-aids look at HS that I think was pretty accurate - from the peer pressure to have sex, then how horrible it can be (losing your virginity in a filthy dug out), to a boy deserting you when you get pregnant (not holding your hand in the delivery room like Juno!), to the importantance of your car, job...all of that. The realization that the "cool" "mature" person you are taking advice from is clueless. I don't think it would have been as sensitive to teens if it had a different director.

The DVD with the commentary from Heckerling and Crowe is great.

The Crack Emcee said...

Sorry, but if you're going to bring up anything as a "barometer of social norms," try to pick something with at least one black person in it, huh? I mean, I'm standing right fucking here, you guys. Geez.

"Fast Times" is fine as white folks' walled-off mainstream entertainment (and Penn was a revelation) but Repo Man was the real chronicle of the times, unloading wicked satire on religion, hippies, the feminization of the culture, bad music, bad parenting, poverty, the education crisis, and a whole host of other issues that we (all) had (and have) to deal with - and not just suburban kids listening to Duran Duran who thought they had it rough.

Don't get me wrong - it had to suck growing up thinking Duran Duran's cool - but, really, "Fast Times" is a barometer for sheltered kids only,...

prairie wind said...

Crack, I'd forgotten about Repo Man! Need to watch it again.

Senator Blutarsky said...

"Sorry, but if you're going to bring up anything as a "barometer of social norms," try to pick something with at least one black person in it, huh?"

I would simply direct your attention to Forest Whitaker, who played football star and Earth, Wind & Fire fan Charles Jefferson in the film.

Thorley Winston said...

Even thirty years later, how many other mainstream American films have featured a character having an abortion, other than Dirty Dancing?

Greenberg ( 2010) – Jennifer Jason Leigh was in that one as well.

furious_a said...

Sorry, but if you're going to bring up anything as a "barometer of social norms," try to pick something with at least one black person in it, huh?

Forest Whitaker, duh, and the kid who played his cousin.

The Crack Emcee said...

Contrast and compare:

Fast Times:

"Phoebe Cates coming out of the pool wearing a bikini and a 'fuck me!' smile."

Repo Man:

Laila: "What about our relationship?"

Otto: "Huh?"

Laila: "Our relationship?"

Otto: "Fuck that."

furious_a said...

Repo Man was the real chronicle of the times, unloading wicked satire on...a whole host of other issues that we (all) had (and have) to deal with...

"Let's do some crimes."

CatherineM said...

Crack, besides missing Forest Whitaker, Duran Duran wasn't poplular yet. Perhaps you didn't see the movie.

"Nice car man..."

"Don't fuck with it."

CatherineM said...

Repo Man was one of my fave movies as a teen and the soundtrack was awesome.

The Crack Emcee said...

Senator Blutarsky,

I would simply direct your attention to Forest Whitaker, who played football star and Earth, Wind & Fire fan Charles Jefferson in the film.

Tokens aren't what I had in mind, you guys. I meant a black person "in the wild,..."

I Callahan said...

Last American Virgin (1982)

I was 16 when both of these films came out. LAV was one of the most depressing films I've ever watched. I wanted to kill that skank after that.

prairie wind said...

Recently I heard several references to the 1984 movie, Red Dawn, that I remember as an awful mess. Today, looking up the cast of Repo Man on imdb, I see a preview for a REMAKE of Red Dawn. Which explains why people have been talking about it, I suppose.

How to explain the remake, though?

Kev said...

(the other kev)

There was something besides Phoebe Cates in that movie?

And there are two types of people on the world: those who like Repo Man, and idiots
8

Jay Vogt said...

It was a pretty well written movie.

For me, its legacy is that I steal Mike Damone's line a few times a year: "I woke up in a great mood; I don't know what the hell happened".

cassandra lite said...

How phenomenal was it if it's the way I always say it?

Best line reading? Castellano's "Leave the gun, take the cannoli" is hard to beat.

The Crack Emcee said...

Kev said...
(the other kev),

There are two types of people on the world: those who like Repo Man, and idiots

Repo Man was the teen movie for those of us who didn't want or need pastel-colored escapist entertainment, but - because there was so much crap like that strangling us - were desperate for a reflection of the nightmarish fantasy world we're really in.

I wonder how Phoebe Cates would survive in Repo World?

She's probably join a cult, or be reduced to a hooker, in no time,...

Alex said...

When did Crack become a race-monger? I swear Mormonism has literally "cracked" his mind.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

When did Crack become a race-monger? I swear Mormonism has literally "cracked" his mind.

Yeah, their history with blacks will do that. And it's funny:

As long as it was Left-wing cults I was on, you guys thought I was cool. But - now that you've discovered it's ALL CULTS - you'll find any reason to diss me.

My reasoning:

I can be as inconsistent as the best of 'em,...

Icepick said...

Crack, you are aware that Cates coming out of the pool was part of a fantasy sequence that ended rather embarrassingly for the person having the fantasy, right?

And yeah, Repo Man was just like my reality in the early 1980s.... @@

Amartel said...

Epic classic Americana, with lots of unknowns who went on to ... be famous but never quite as good again. Ray Walston stole the show.
Robert Romanus is totally underappreciated. The Five Point Plan. "Whatever happens your toes are still tappin'." "I come here for the strudel."

CatherineM said...

Mr. Hand - everyone had a teacher like that.

Amartel - great lines. "The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays..."

Revenant said...

This clown said Sarah Palin should have been TOP OF THE TICKET in 2008. Here we are in 2012 and Palin can't even speak at the GOP convention.

I said Palin was the best of the four people in the race. I was right about that -- Obama's dogshit, Biden's an idiot with even lower approval ratings than Palin had, and McCain is... McCain. :)

Revenant said...

Tokens aren't what I had in mind, you guys. I meant a black person "in the wild,..."

Yawn.

Crunchy Frog said...

Although Fast Times was filmed at Van Nuys HS, it was portraying suburban life in the San Fernando Valley in general (VN is the urban "capital" of the area). In my neck of the Valley in '82, the only blacks "in the wild" at my high school (Kennedy - Granada Hills) were bused in from South Central.

But thanks for playing.

wv: rfater - who rt in hven...

bagoh20 said...

Cook, I rarely agree with you on anything, but I also see "Dazed and Confused" as incredibly accurate. It portrayed senior year 1976, which was mine, and it got nearly every detail perfect, even the mood.

Revenant said...

it was portraying suburban life in the San Fernando Valley

San Diego, actually. Cameron Crowe grew up here, and wrote the screenplay based on Clairemont High School. Your point about the black population of the neighborhood being around 1% is accurate, though.

Methadras said...

Seven Machos said...

Phoebe Cates!

Discuss.


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