Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Directed by Amy Heckerling
The female directors have been few and far between on The List, although I can't fairly blame the editors of this book for that. Still, it is refreshing when one comes along although I am not quite sure this movie deserves the praise that has been heaped on it.
The film follows the story of several students at Ridgemont High. The most important characters are Brad, a senior who must endure humiliating jobs, his sexually inexperienced sister Stacy, and her more sexually experienced friend Linda. Hey, every good story needs the virgin and the whore dynamic. You also have Sean Penn floating in the peripheries as Jeff Spicoli, a stoner who constantly infuriates his teacher, Mr. Hand.
It is clear from this film that teen comedies hadn't really hit their stride yet. Don't get me wrong; it is entertaining and has plenty of funny bits. But I couldn't shake the feeling that the filmmakers were handling the Linda character all wrong. What did we learn from her sexual awakening? That sex for women is awkward and humiliating, an act that can only end in rejection, unplanned pregnancy, or worse? I don't want to be unfair to Heckerling, but it seems like she could have maybe shaken up the usual message that is spouting to women during their teenage years.
Maybe I am asking too much from her; I am just excited we finally have a female director that makes enjoyable films. Also, she didn't write the screenplay so I suppose it is ultimately from a male perspective. Is it time for Clueless yet?
Only time Nicolas Cage has appeared in a film as Nicolas Coppola.
Based on Cameron Crowe's book, which he wrote after attending a high school undercover. Is this real life?