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Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Growing up in the 80's I have a certain affinity for the decade's catalog of films. It's my opinon that the 80's is probably the single greatest decade in terms of overall quality of film and music. Classic films I never grow tired of watching over and over again such us Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and an enumerable list of other great films, including some of the better comedies and romantic comedies. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one film that always seems to come up when discussing comedies of the 1980's, a film that's responsible for jump starting the careers of Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold and Forest Whitaker, but does it live up to all the hype?

Fast Times at Ridgemont High supposedly chronicles the "real-life adventures" of high school students growing up in California. Too bad I don't consider the life of a pot smoking surfer dude, a couple of promiscuous teenagers, and a smart talking ticket scalper to be very adventurous. To list this film as a comedy is almost an insult, it's one of the least funniest "comedies" I have ever seen and actually makes the worst teen comedies of the 90's look professional. The funniest part of this film was the very last minute! I don't see the enjoyment here, how are the mundane, boring and pitiful lives of a bunch of teenagers supposed to be enjoyable?

I found most of the character's annoying and felt no sympathy whatsoever for them especially Leigh's character. I think the only reason this film gets any notice is it probably pushed the envelope in the 80's because of it's major focus on teen sex, as Jennifer Jason Leigh's character is basically giving herself to every guy she goes out with and on the first date no less. Frankly I found the film quite disgusting, in addition to being actually pretty boring, there's definitely nothing "fast" about the film's wandering plot other than how fast Leigh pulls her pants down.


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