A forgotten classic
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 03/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ALL I WANNA DO (which is also known as THE HAIRY BIRD) is a loving and hilarious look at the swinging 60's, featuring an impressive script and direction by Sarah Kernochan and a capable, strong cast.Odette (Gaby Hoffmann) has just been shipped to Conneticut and Miss Godard's School for Girls. Run by the kindly Miss McVane (Lynn Redgrave - GODS AND MONSTERS) the school is a sanctuary for the girls who will have to take a second place to men when they eventually have to leave and go into the real world.Odette falls into the outsiders group known as the Daughters of the American Ravioli - trouble-making Verena (Kirsten Dunst), brainy Momo (Merritt Wever), sex-hungry Tinka (Monica Keena) and the almost-pathelogical Tweety (Heather Matarazzo).When Tweety accidentally discovers the plan to merge Miss Godard's with a neighboring boy's college, they put a huge and potentially dangerous plan into action to get rid of the "hairy bird"...A clever and canny comedy filled with superb performances. Standouts in the cast include the wonderful Heather Matarazzo and the fantastic Monica Keena. The film also features Rachael Leigh Cook and Rosemary Dunsmore (ANNE OF AVONLEA)."
A Stand-out Teen Comedy
casey87 | New York | 05/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Most teen comedies nowadays are so mindless, unfunny, and unrealistic that they aren't even worth watching. Although this movie is pure "chick flick", it's nothing like today's teen-sex comedies starring Chad Michael Murray, Lindsay Lohan, and Hilary Duff.
"All I Wanna Do", set in the early sixties, tells the story of Odette Sinclair, who is sent to an all-girls boarding school after her parents discover her plans to have sex with her boyfriend. Though reluctant at first, Odette befriends the school's biggest troublemakers, Verena, Tinka, Tweety, and Momo. They have their share of adventures with the boys, their classmates, and their teachers. But the girls aren't prissy--they're smart, sassy, funny, and ambitious, and when they find out that their school is merging with an all-boys academy, they pull off their biggest heist yet.
The acting in "All I Wanna Do" is brilliant; the writing is smart, funny, and filled with political humor of the 60s; the characters are real; and, the movie is funny, sexy, and memorable. It's a level above the standard teen-sex romps, more mature but still fun for younger and older teens. You can watch it again and again over the years and find something new with each viewing--"All I Wanna Do" is definitely worth your time."
A must see
Alexandra L. Pajak | Atlanta, GA | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""All I Wanna Do" is a hilarious teen comedy with memorable characters, original screenplay, and priceless jokes. Unlike most current teen comedies (with the exception perhaps of "Orange County"), this movie does not rely on gross humor or stereotypical characters and predictable love stories and plots. For those who do like that stuff, there is still a lot of vomiting, smoking and hormones in the movie, but they're all done in a clever, realistic and very funny way.
Kirsten Dunst is excellent in the movie, showing off her comedic style. Verena, Dunst's character, is not only the most ambitious and most conniving, but she is also the most attrative of the girls and has insecurities. Definitely a step up from the usual teen movie female character. Also, the main guy character, "Snake," likewise has a personality, compared the meatheads of the usual teen flick. He is in love with Tinka, and he has a strong group of funny sidekicks who all share a strong interest in photographing dead animals. (Trust me, it works.)
Interestingly, the movie is not only completely hilarious, but also has good messages. For example, girls should date nice guys!! Don't even consider the jerks (the private school guys the girls prevent from entering their school). Also, it's completely okay for girls to support each other, not be backstabbing, and to have dreams and goals beyond their appearance and finding a date. And the photographing interests of the nice versus bad guys is actually very revealing.
A definite must see!"
YOU GO, GIRLS!
Deborah Earle | USA | 01/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Interestingly, this movie takes place the same year that Betty Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique".
It begins in early 1963 when one Odette Sinclair, played by a rebellious but very charismatic Gaby Hoffman, is taken from her home in Michigan, horse in tow, to the Miss Godard's School for Girls in Connecticut by irate parents after she is caught planning a tryst with her boyfriend, Dennis (a still-slightly boyish Matthew Lawrence).
At first, she resents the change of atmosphere. But the solemn, tremulous girl soon finds companionship with a group of girls, who, although they can be antagonistic, encourage her to find other aspirations beyond having sex with her boyfriend. These include her two luminescent blonde roomates, the sexually mature Tinka,whose favorite colors to wear when she's out of uniform are red and black, and the ever-scheming Verena, deftly played by Monica Keena and Kirsten Dunst respectively.
Heather Matarazzo's bulimic Tweety is a rather weak-willed character, and Merrit Wever's Momo is strong and smart. Together, these girls form a secret organization called The Daughters of the American Ravioli, in which they pledge to help each other acheive their goals. One of the more immediate ones is to rid the school of their lecherous teacher Mr. Dewey, to whom his portrayer, Robert Bockstael, gives such understated underhandedness. At a time when sex crimes against students at the hands of teachers may have been underreported due to the fact that the teachers most likely would have gotten off, this makes an interesting subplot.
But 1963 was the beginning of the modern feminist movement, and these girls take matters into their own hands after the Board of Trustees threatens to merge the school with the St. Ambrose Boys Academy without giving the students any say in the matter. Using every non-violent rescource they have to gain the attention of authority figures, they ultimately help to bail their school out of the financial troubles that led to the decision to merge with the Boys' Academy, and we watch these girls assert themselves and find their voices in a way that might have been more unusual in 1963 than it would be today.
Lynn Redgrave leads the cast as the prudish but sympathetic headmistress of Miss Godard's with a very accurate New England accent (Notice how the statue of the school's foundress looks like her). What struck me about her appearance was mainly her outdated hairdo. The soft-spoken Abby Sawyer, portrayed by Rachel Leigh Cook, is the hall monitor and school legacy who takes a surpising(or perhaps not-so-surprising) turn. Rosemary Dunsmore is Abby's controlling and rather narrow-minded mother who, with her husband, serves on the Board of Trustees. Her role as Mrs. Sawyer is more than faintly reminiscent of her role in "Anne of Avonlea" in which she played another staff member at a girls' academy.
The party scene was fun to watch. It's interesting, though, how the only minority boy and the only minority boy and girl were paired off, which is how it most likely would have been done in 1963 to avoid complaints from the parents. The music is lively, the rowdy townies come in handy when it comes to putting the girls' tormentors in their place, the dresses and hairdos had a certain elegance and grace, and the cast members were talented and attractive, including the radiant Barbara Radecki and Phobe Lapine as Tinka's mom and sister.
Ultimately, this film is a bouncy 90-minute romp through the early modern feminist era which harmlessly pays homage to girl power.I feel upbeat and inspired after watching it!"