Quick recap: A group of students navigate a year of high school without much regard to actual learning.
Fun (?) fact: Before he was the lovable scamp we know today, Nicholas Cage got on everyone’s nerves during the shooting of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He bragged about his famous uncle Francis Ford Coppola and declared he would be more famous than anyone else. He finally shut up when people started doing Apocalypse Now impressions around him.
My thoughts: As much as I’d like to say I was the Spicoli, Stacy, or Linda of my high school, in all actuality I most closely identified with Brad’s friend, Arnold. He was the one listening to Brad’s problems and trying to be cool but instead just ended up burning the hamburger patties and taking a restroom break at the worst possible time. Watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High as a teenager, I never could shake the feeling that I was doing it all wrong. Not that I wanted to get pregnant or show up stoned to class, but there was a part of me that yearned for a quintessential high school experience American cinema had taught me was so important to have.
As an adult who has finally learned that there is no such thing as normal, I can finally embrace this movie for what it is: a teenage fairy tale. Maybe it’s not all that realistic, but it sure is entertaining and definitely captured the 80s spirit I pretend to know anything about. Thinking back on the various high school movies I’ve watched on this list alone, I think I’d much rather attend Ridgemont High than say the high schools in Grease, American Graffiti or the Breakfast Club. The kids are just as nuts but at least they feel and talk like real teenagers.
In a way, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is kind of a depressing movie.
Stacy- loses virginity to guy much older than her and then gets knocked up by a guy who doesn’t care about her
Spicoli- constantly embarrassed by his History teacher
Mark- his best friend sleeps with and then knocks up the girl he is in love with
And the list goes on. But through a different lens, these are all seen as typical teenage problems and nothing to be too concerned with. After all, being an American teenager just means having the most traumatic things happen to you but it’s cool because summer is almost here! Maybe I made the right decision in staying out of drama after all.
Final review: 5/5
Up next: A Man Escaped