My Blind Spot movie kind of picked itself this month with the multiple mentions it got in Stranger Things I decided to finally sit down and watch Fast Times at Ridgemont high. It had it’s moments- mainly Sean Penn’s iconic turn as checked out drugged out Spicoli.
It feels very much like a movie of its time though.
Fast Times is directed by Amy Heckerling (who would go on and direct Clueless which was a movie for me) in 1982. It’s based on a book by Cameron Crowe about the goings on of the students he spent a year studying at a Southern California high school in the late seventies.
Funnily enough looking at reviews for the book on Goodreads it seems like there’s better character and background work in the book which is something I thought was lacking in the movie. Stuff always gets lost in film adaptations but beside that the film is like constant sex obsession.
I’d love to say Linda (Phoebe Cates) was an iconic character and not just the iconic image of the movie- but I really can’t. I mean she exists to rise from the pool, talk about having sex with older guys and cringe inducingly encourage her 15-year old girlfriend to have sex with the 26 year old cruising the mall.
Giving it a couple of days there were some moments in the film- Spicoli and the history teacher and Brad (Judge Reinhold’s) job troubles plus he actually turns out to be a pretty good brother that I did enjoy and appreciate. You can absolutely see the precursors that would be written all over American Pie, Clueless and any big teenage comedies.
Though I do find it interesting that years later Cher and Dionne would hold much different views on sex than the anything goes attitude of Linda and Stacey in this movie.
So in the end mixed feelings about the film and I actually would be interested in reading the book. I feel like while some of the ideas are timeless the film execution is very much of its time which strangely works for and against it. I didn’t love it or even like it but I did find it interesting and worth the watch.
Even if only to revisit a time when Sean Penn had a sense of humor.