Friday, October 12, 2007

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Amy Heckerling

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is the quintessential high school movie. We have all the classic characters, the stoner, the jock, the outsider, the creep, the new girl, and the best friend/mentor. Fast Times at Ridgemont High shows us a realistic perspective of high school, the good, the bad and the ugly. The themes in the movie deal with everything from after school jobs, crashing cars, smoking marijuana, strict teachers, first dates and abortion. Many of the subjects are risky, but the movie was a success in spite of it. This movie will hold up to the test of time because it doesn’t sugarcoat high school, and shows us as vulnerable and na├»ve as we all were at some point. There’s poor Ratner who is madly in love with Stacy, yet he doesn’t even know her. Stacy’s multiple sexual escapades, from losing her virginity to a much older man at a baseball dugout, to the awkward sex she has with Damone. When he completely ignores her afterwards and gets her pregnant, she feels extremely hurt. Thankfully, she has Ratner who still cares about her. Jeff Spicoli is the ultimate stoner. He continually butts heads with his teacher, Mr. Hand. Spicoli’s easy going attitude does not fit well with Mr. Hand’s strict rules. Spicoli doesn’t really care though, he is never in a bad mood and only gets upset when his brother comes into his room. Brad deals with the loss of his job and then with the challenge of finding another one that doesn’t make him go completely crazy. His personality changes from the outgoing, friendly guy, to a withdrawn one who just works a lot at a job he hates. This movie is a great 80s movie; it pushes the limits on the more controversial material and is really true to the lives of teenagers. I would recommend this movie to everyone because I think people relate well to it and will truly enjoy it.

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