Was bored earlier today with nothing I particularly wanted to do so I watched it again for the nth time, then watched some of the special features, and now watcing the commentary track and am learning some things I didn’t know, for example the studio thought it would bomb and some execs didn’t even want to release it. And looking back I can see why.
It not only has teenagers getting stoned but having sex, and in one case having an abortion. Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character Stacy was 15 in the first scene of the movie and later has sex with a 26 year old character. And in the commentary track Cameron Crowe asks director Amy Heckerling if she was worried about getting lynched for filming that, and she said, and I particulary noticed this watching tonight, there are shots from Stacy’s POV, looking up at the light and the graffiti on the ceiling, and Heckerling said she was trying to film what sex was really like for a young girl’s first time, in this case pressured into it by her friend. There is the famous masterbation scene , where Brad gets caught, which is every teenage boy in high school’s worst nightmare and actually happened to a friend of mine. He was laughed at for a week, by the same guys who were also, no doubt, masturbating. What teenage boy wasn’t? There is a scene of Stacy and Linda giving a blow job to a carrot in the lunchroom .
I know in my life, and I would bet in most people’s life, the first time having sex was no big deal, it was not some great magical romantic experience, probably not even that great physically.
And watching the commentary now, Heckerling says the studio kept asking her to make the movie more nostalgic, like American Graffitti. The fact that she did not is what makes this such a great film. I love AG, but of the two films, which is more like our high school lives? “I don’t know.” But I have an opinion.
On a trivial note, this is the second major film where Eric Stoltz missed out. He was going to be Marty in Back to the Future, was originally going to be Spicoli.