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Quick recap: A group of friends spend their last night cruising around town before heading off to college the next day. Shenanigans were had and life lessons were learned all around. A good time was had by all!
Fun (?) fact: The car from Two-Lane Blacktop is driven by Bob Falfa at the end of the movie. American Graffiti was also shown as a double feature with The Sting when it was in theaters. I’m a little creeped out by all these connections between the movies I have just reviewed.
My thoughts: Despite (or maybe because of) watching several movies made in the 50s, I expected American Graffiti to be a little more ‘wholesome’ than what was actually shown. I wouldn’t consider this a drawback to the movie though, just a little surprising. Also doesn’t help that one of the stars is ‘Ronny Howard’. Really, Ronny? That’s the name you decided to go with to shed you of your wholesome image from The Andy Griffith Show? Nice try, buddy.
Without a doubt, this movie has one of the best soundtracks from those I have reviewed so far. There’s a nice selection of rock hits from The Beach Boys to Buddy Holly, an enjoyable time in American music before those damn Beatles had to come and ruin everything. I had only vaguely heard of Wolfman Jack before last night and what I pictured was nothing like what he ended up being. I had always assumed that pranking and ‘shock’ radio was a relatively modern invention but apparently not. I would’ve loved listening to Wolfman Jack back then, and it makes me a little nostalgic for djs like that nowadays. Podcasts have somewhat brought back the enjoyment of sitting and listening, but there aren’t too many djs out there like he was.
As for the actual movie, it all comes down to the fact that I didn’t really care for any of the characters. All of them were annoying in their own way and I didn’t really root for any of them, except maybe John, the tough guy with a heart of gold. All of the storylines were predictable, like the nerd finally getting the girl and Curt finally deciding to head to college. In the same respect, it is this predictability that makes this movie perfect for teens. I can very distinctly remember those last few days before heading to college several years ago, and all of the mixed emotions that went with it. All of my friends were attending different colleges than I was and it seemed terrifying to do something brand new. Steve (played by Ronny Howard) was the perfect example of all of the high school romances I knew and how important they seemed at the time.
Final review: 4/5, but just barely. I hated the end when it was revealed that Milner died and The Toad was MIA. Total downer to a fun movie.
Up Next: The Golden Coach
American Graffiti was made in the early 70’s, so I’m not sure how you expected it to be like several movies made in the 50’s.
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