Thursday, April 28, 2011

Graduation Day

Can't Hardly Wait
Directors: Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
Cast: Ethan Embry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Lauren Ambrose, Charlie Korsmo, Peter Facinelli
Released: June 12, 1998



Despite the grammatically incorrect title (and I am a grammar Nazi, people!), I really kinda love this movie which takes place in one day. The beginning starts in the afternoon at a graduation ceremony for high school seniors, the majority of the movie takes place at a huge party, and it ends the next morning.

"Special K"
There are tons of kids at the party (most of them probably extras, but there were a few familiar faces), but the movie follows six characters. The main character is Preston (Embry) who finds out the girl he has "loved" (I don't know how he can be in love with her when he's never even talked to her, but whatever) since freshman year has broken up with her boyfriend that afternoon. He has written Amanda (Hewitt) a letter and vows to tell her how he really feels. Preston attends the party with his friend Denise (Ambrose) who's really cynical and acts like she's more superior than everybody else and can't wait to get out of town and say good riddance to her high school life. At the party she ends up getting locked in a bathroom with her childhood friend Kenny (a hilarious performance from Green) who wears baggy clothes and acts all ghetto. He goes by the name Special K (and he's "special", alright!) and is not happy by this turn of events because he had planned to score with some "fine honey" at the party. They are in the upstairs bathroom, so nobody can hear them downstairs.

Meanwhile, William (Korsmo - he looked familiar, so I looked him up: turns out he played Robin William's son in Hook) the nerd who plans to get revenge on douche bag jock Mike Dexter (Facinelli) aka Amanda's ex who has made high school a living hell for him and his other nerd friends. He has this whole elaborate plan to humiliate Mike and while his two Star Wars-obsessed friends wait outside for him, William ends up getting drunk and becomes the life of the party.

In cameo roles we have  Melissa Joan Hart as an excitable girl with school spirit who wants everyone to sign her yearbook,  Jaime Pressly and Sean Patrick Thomas as part of the cool clique, Donald Faison and Breckin Meyer as part of the band, Selma Blair, Clea DuVall, a pre-How I Met Your Mother Jason Segal, a pre-24 Eric Balfour, a pre-BtVS Amber Benson, the Asian girl from Bring It On, and the Sherminator who plays a kid who steals everything. Rounding out the cameos is Jerry O'Connell as a college student who tells Mike breaking up with his high school girlfriend was the worst thing he's ever done and Jenna Elfman as an angel stripper who gives Preston advice on what he should do about Amanda. My favorite minor character was the girl who had the party at her house. She was hilarious with all her reactions and freak outs to how her house was being destroyed - everything from people defacing a family portrait to the curtains being set on fire.

Checklist time!


Is there a party scene? Duh
Is there a prom scene? Negative
Is there a football scene? Negative 
Is there a make over scene? Negative
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Yes, they're all represented at the party.
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? Yep. Lacey Chabert plays the Amanda character (interesting both she and JLH were on Party of Five!) and they spoofed the slow motion and wind blowing in her hair.

Do I own the soundtrack/favorite song - I don't own the soundtrack, but I have my two favorite songs from the movie on my iPod. The first is the title song by the Replacements that plays at the end credits and the second is "Paradise City" by Guns 'n Roses that Williams sings after he's been drinking a little too much.

Darkest scene - This is a pretty light movie so there are no dark scenes per se, but I was a little bit disturbed by how Preston was so infatuated with Amanda - well he was probably only infatuated with her for the same two reasons JLH is famous, haha - but this is a girl who dated the douchey bullying jock for the majority of her high school life. They try to paint her as somebody who isn't superficial, but let's face it: the girl is superficial. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the movie didn't go the obvious route and have Preston realize he has feelings for his female friend who has been right in front of him this entire time because that has been so overplayed, but I never understood why he was so into Amanda. Other than she's hot and they both like Pop Tarts. Maybe I'm just overanalyzing this too much. After all, it's just a teen movie. 

Favorite line -  "THESE ARE MEMORIES FROZEN IN TIME, PEOPLE!" - yearbook girl. Also everything Kenny said was hilarious.

Favorite character - While Kenny was one of the funniest characters, I have to go with nerd William. He really stole the whole movie with his song and dance number.

Favorite scene - It's a tie between William singing to Guns 'n Roses and the bathroom montage with Kenny.

Hey, it's the '90s! - There's one scene where Preston is using a pay phone - a PAY PHONE! Come to think of it, it was really weird to see a whole houseful of teenagers and not a one of them was talking/texting on a cell phone. Also, Kenny is donning Tommy Hilfigure attire.

Now to add another reason as to why the class of '99 is the best graduating class in all of high school history:

1. Many teen/high school movies came out in 1999.
2. The song  that told people to "party like it's 1999."
3.  Buffy Summers is an alum from the class of '99.
4. Bella Swan is not a graduate from the class of '99. (Sorry class of two thousand whatever!)


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