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Teen Movie Critic

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

by

Roger Davidson

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
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I thought this was going to be a great experience before I even saw the film. It was so over-praised, that I thought this comedy, about Southern California teens in the 80's, was going to be a work of art. However, even after seeing it two times, I've found that there is nothing special about this mindless, sexist junk. The only reason I decided to see it a second time was, I thought, there may have been some deep meaning to it all, that I just happened to miss the first time around.

WRONG!!!. Jennifer Jason Leigh, a very talented actor, is wasted as a virginal young student, curious about sex, who is turned into a woman who will go to bed with anyone, after she first has sex. Other young actors are equally wasted in degrading, idiotic roles. There are two performances that shouldn't be overlooked. Ray Walston, as the fascistic teacher, is playing a role that you'd never think he could play. He does it well. The second performance is the best. Yes! You guessed it! It's Sean Penn as the ultimate spaced-out stoner, Jeff Spicoli. He made me laugh so hard, I thought I'd die laughing. Sorry to say, these two gifted actors are the only reasons to see this film. There is nothing else to recommend. Even with a female director, Amy Heckerling (Clueless), this is still smug, crude and blatantly sexist.

There is something else. When I wrote about Reality Bites, people wrote to me saying I was talking out my asshole about the subject. Maybe so. Maybe not. However, the subject of this film is something I do know about. I won't say whether these guys are realistic or not, but I will say that I definitely cannot relate to any of the things they do.

My Rating = Two Stars


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