By Josh Mosley
Usually (and by usually I mean that one time that I did it before and not since), the Here’s My Problem slot is reserved for me to put on my logic Speedo and take a dip into the pool of a random baseball movie. But yesterday Swingers, the summer of 2009 continued its Manson-like killing spree when it took someone that, for me, trumps Fawcett, McMahon and, brace yourselves, Billy Mayes.
Yesterday, 80’s movie icon John Hughes passed on due to a heart attack. The guy is a legend in my book. He wrote and directed one of my top five favorite movies of all time, The Breakfast Club, and countless others. But today, out of respect, I’m going to poke holes into one of his lesser known classics: 1987’s Some Kind of Wonderful. Tell your tear ducts to show some decorum as we pay homage to a great one.
PLOT: Your basic wrong side of the tracks love story is on tap here, folks. Keith (played by Eric Stoltz) is the brooding artist by day and a gas station attendant by night. His best friend is the equally poor-tastic Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) who despite the leather jacket and bowl cut, is a certifiable dime who from the first frame you can tell is suffering from a case of the unrequited love jones. Keith’s jones are reserved for “other side of the tracks” dime piece, Amanda (Lea Thompson, aka Marty McFly’s mom). Ironically she lives on Keith’s side of town but because she dates rich doucher Hardy (Craig Scheffer, aka Keith Scott for all two of you One Tree Hill watchers) Amanda is off limits.
Then Hardy gets caught scamming on Amanda with some other girl and gets his ass dumped. Keith swoops in instantaneously and scores the rebound date with Amanda. Amanda has no idea who this Keith yahoo is but she soon realizes that she might be in over her head (really Amanda? You think?). To sum it up, Hardy makes nice and invites Keith and Amanda to his party that weekend, ultimately wanting to get his friends together to knock Keith’s dong off before he can even have fun with it.
Meanwhile, Keith finds this fact out but wants to go through with the date anyway with help from Watts. With a sweet car, a diamond earring that he blew his college nest egg on, and a lesson in tonsil hockey from Watts (when Keith finally realizes that Watts is no slouch in the dime department) Keith grows the confidence to stand up to the rich bully, slip Amanda the tongue and all the while realize his feelings for Watts. Nice ending that makes a lot of sense, right? Sure. Now for the fun part.
HERE’S. MY. PROBLEM.
– My problem with this movie is the same as my beef with MOST teen movies. Actors who have burned the midnight oil in young Hollywood in bars doing coke binges are expected to pick up a script and look 17 years old. I know how I looked at 17. I didn’t look like Keith or Hardy.
It’s a small beef because it’s a practice that won’t soon die out. The fact is that actual high school kids fall under labor laws and scheduling conflicts. So the older you are, the less you spend in production. But mark my words Swingers, once my yet to be written teen comedy goes into production, I’m using authentic teens. Not guys who grow stubble at Andy and Danny like speeds who have to shave every third take.
– And the best friend loving the best friend storyline: it’s realistic because it’s probably happened a lot in life concerning best friends of the opposite sex. But it’s usually acknowledged. The one who is liked isn’t totally unaware of it like in this flick or Pretty in Pink. Maybe I’m super sensitive (or on a drought) but I think I’d be able to see if one of my good female friends was digging my chilli. It wouldn’t take some thing like thisto snap me out.
-Last thing: As I mentioned above, Keith blows his entire college fund that his dad had been saving for him on a diamond earring for this Amanda girl. A girl he was taking on a date for the first time. Who he hadn’t even gotten to first base with (and THERE’S your baseball tie-in!!!) So naturally his dad goes off on him telling him to take it back and get the money back. Keith talks his dad down and soon he understands that Keith doesn’t want to go to college and that he made the money so he wants to do with it what he wants. It’s a sweet moment but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!!
My dad would have ripped my scrotum off and pinned them to wall as an example if I did that. There’d be no “talking him down.” He’d tell me that not only would I go to college but that I’d get out in four years because I’d have no nuts to bust with chicks. UNBELIEVABLE!!!