Can't Hardly Wait

Can't Hardly Wait is your typical coming of age story a la American Pie, but this movie came out a year prior. However, this film is more than a coming of age story of just one person. It is a multi-main-character coming of age story. You have your artistic writer, feminist, nerd, jock, pretty girl, and someone desperate to fit in. You have the whole cast of the breakfast club modernized for the late 1990's.

There is not much that I can say about this film, other than the fact that it is very relatable, very honest, and very dated. Just like The Breakfast Club, there are main characters that everyone can relate to. But unfortunately while watching this film it's impossible to not burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter at some of the clothes that people are wearing. Other than the wardrobe, this film definitely holds up 15+ years after it's release. 

I'm not happy with my top level summary thus far, so I'm going to pretentiously find meaning where there is none. Towards the end of the film, the nerd and the jock get drunk, make amends, and then get arrested. In the morning, the jock tells the cops that he beat up the nerd and forced him to drink alcohol in order to save the nerd from repercussions. Later, the nerd attempts to thank the jock in public, and the jock ridicules him. Finally, the film has a text layover saying that the Jock, gets kicked out of school, fired from his job, becomes unhealthy, and becomes an alcoholic. Here's what I propose...

This is not a story about a boy who falls in love, or a group of kids coming to terms with impending adult hood. This is the classic tale of redemption mixed with the classic heroes tale. From the beginning of the film, we are made to think of the jock as a jerk. He consistently confirms this idea throughout the film. Then towards the end of the film, we see him realize the error in his ways, and make a change. He sacrifices himself for the greater good, knowing that the nerd will go on to do great things in this world. He does not acknowledge his good deed in public because real heroes do not do good for the sake of glory. Lastly, he deals with the consequences of his actions, falling into a seemingly sad life, sacrificing himself so the nerd can continue on his current trajectory to improve the world. As I said, this is not a coming of age story, this is a hero's redemption story! 

If the story I propose is in fact the theme, then this film is not a comedy, it is a drama, and it is a huge, huge bummer. I highly recommend it.

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