""Fast Times at Ridgemont High" Is a strong contender for the best teen movie from the eighties.The case for the movie is easy to make: It is written by Cameron Crowe, who wrote Jerry Maguire, Say Anything, and Almost Famous. It is beautifully filmed and directed. (Director is Amy Heckerling, who apart from being awefully cute has made such wonderful movies as Clueless.) It is funny and real. And it has a magnificent cast of young actors who where unknowns then.The surfer/stoner is famously played by Sean Penn in one of his first roles, and he is awesome. Jennifer Jason Leigh is perfect as the young innocent fifteen-year-old. (Amazingly she was about 20 when she played it, but you'd never know it.)And Phoebe Cates... As Amy Heckerling says in a featurette: The boys just loves Phoebe... the rental cassettes always track a lot around the place where she takes off her top, they've been freeze-framed so much..." Which is as good a reason as any to get the DVD version, they slow-mo and freeze-frame a lot better... But seriously, Phoebe is a wonderful actress who has been woefully underused by Hollywood. And she is also just stunningly cute to boot. Even if this film had nothing else going for it, get it for her. (She is also excellent in the later film Princess Caraboo, and she is buck nude in the light "Paradise", which I hope they will put on DVD soon.)Eolake"
Another FT ripoff - still no no missing scenes restored!
Edmond Gauthier | USA | 02/02/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe the director of this movie keeps standing for the out and out censorship of this! It's (at least) the third release of it on DVD, and this latest (Nov. 2004) try is still a dud. The big problem remains the scenes which they only include in the cable TV versions of this, but keep cutting from the DVD. Why the heck do they?
One of the missing scenes is a very cool safe sex/birth control scene in the mall, for instance. Fast Times sticks out as one of the very rare films that this odd censorship has been performed on. In fact, out of thousands of releases since DVDs started in 1995, this is almost the only one this has ever happened to!
So again we can only ask why? WHY?
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 01/30/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fast Times At Ridgemont High is Cameron Crowe's first foray into the movie industry. He started out (as chronicled in Almost Famous) as a teenage reporter for Rolling Stone. After he left the magazine, he posed as a high schooler in a Southern California high school. The result was a book that was turned into this movie. Mr. Crowe wrote the screenplay and Amy Heckerling directed. The movie follows several different students and is one of the funniest movies ever made. Sean Penn stars as the stoner surfer Jeff Spicoli who only goal in life is to find some tasty waves and keep a cool buzz. His history professor, Mr. Hand (played with menacing glee by the late Ray Walston), provides an adversary for Spicoli to go up against. Judge Reinhold & Jennifer Jason-Leigh play brother & sister, Brad & Stacy. Brad is a senior who seems to have it all, cool car, good job at a burger joint and a perfect girlfriend. All of this collapses on him as his girlfriend breaks up with him, he's fired from his job and is forced to work a couple of embarrassing jobs. Stacy is a freshman and works at a pizza place in the mall (which is the center of alot of activity in the film) with the world wise Linda (played by Phoebe Cates). Linda is constantly giving advice to the naive Stacy. She meets an older guy and in one of the more poignant moments in the film, loses her virginity to him in a baseball dugout. Mark Ratner works at the movie theater in the mall and has a crush on Stacy. His friend, Mike Damone (played by Robert Romanus) is a hustler who scalps tickets to concerts and he, like Linda to Stacy, gives advice to "Rat". Stacy and Rat eventual go out, but Damone ends up sleeping with Stacy. A whole mess ensues, but in the end, every one makes up. The movie was a springboard to the careers of Mr. Penn, Ms. Cates, Ms. Leigh and Mr. Reinhold and is riff with future stars in small roles including Nicholas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz & Forrest Whitaker. The movie has a great soundtrack and is a perfect snapshot of the fashions, trends and lives of teenagers in the early 80's. But throw away the different hairstyles, clothes, slang and music, the situations that the kids get into are the same for any generation and we can all relate."
Fast Times indeed!
James Ferguson | Vilnius, Lithuania | 07/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the classic high school movies, Fast Times spawned a slew of teenage talent on the big screen, but no one was more memorable in this movie than Sean Penn as Spicoli. Amy Heckerling cuts out a slice of Southern Californian life from a San Bernardino high school that shows both honor students and misfits alike. While the signature moments belonged to Spicoli, there were many other great scenes such as the ongoing burger war in which Judge Reinhold finds himself on the short end of the spatula. Meanwhile his little sis, a seemingly innocent Jennifer Jason Leigh, experiments with dating and sex with an amusing pair of misfits, Brian Backer and Robert Romanus. Phoebe Cates tries to set her young prodigy straight but to no avail. Forest Whitaker even has a significant moment in this movie as the bruising defensive lineman who takes out the destruction of his prized car on the opposing team. Little did he know that Spicoli had a hand in it. But, it is the hilarious relationship between Spicoli and Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) that steals the show. Fast Times may appear a bit dated, but it hasn't lost any of its humor. "
Awesome... Totally Awesome... Alright Hamilton!!!
James Ferguson | 09/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And that's the way it was.... An incisive look at high school life in the early 80's, right down to the Pat Benatar look-alikes. For the now 30-somethings of that era characters like Mike Damone, Jefferson, & Brad Hamilton are legendary. But the one who steals the show is Jeff Spicoli. It is nearly impossible to believe that is actually Sean Penn behind that mop of blond hair & stoned smile. This was the first of many great Penn performances where he literally pours himself into the role and becomes the character. Watch for unexpected cameos from Nicholas Cage, Eric Stoltz, & Anthony Edwards among others."