a decade of zanity

Monday, March 31, 2008

Hey, Bud, let's party!

Title: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Phoebe Cates Fast Times at Ridgemont High pool scene
Phoebe Cates Legendary Pool Scene on Fast Times at Ridgemont High
When I began this blog, this movie is one that I looked forward to in entering. There were so many funny moments and quotable quotes that it all comes to me as a large colorful montage. Hard to pick a place to begin. But let's try.

Let's attempt why Fast Times is an 80s gem:

1) Memorable scenes. To me, there are only three:
  • Phoebe Cates often cited as a top sexual fantasy or bikini scene
  • Pizza delivery scene in classroom
  • Jefferson's wrecked car and Spicoli's solution ("Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.")
2) Casts. A laundry of list of young, then-unknown casts and extras soaring to highly revered careers. Namely,
Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack album cover3) Music. This movie came at a time when FM rock stations were very popular. Hence, much of the songs from the Fast Times at Ridgemont High soundtrack were rock n roll. And I can't complain about that. There are quite a few songs that I like from this soundtrack, including Goodbye, Goodbye by Oingo Boingo, Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our Lives) by Billy Squier, and Somebody's Baby by Jackson Browne. But my favorite is not in the soundtrack. Which is Moving in Stereo by the Cars during Phoebe Cates' scene. Two other excellent songs played in the movie but not in the soundtrack are We've Got the Beat by the Go-Go's and American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

4) Quotable quotes - Just my top picks of Fast Times at Ridgemont High quotes and a whole lot of Spicoli
  • Hey Bud, let's party!
  • All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
  • Make up your mind, dude, is he gonna shit or is he gonna kill us?
  • Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.
  • Learn it. Know it. Live it.
  • That was my skull! I'm so wasted!
  • What are you, people? On dope?
  • Awesome! Totally awesome!
Fast Times was not just the stepping stone for the talented casts. It was also the beginning for movie makers, Amy Heckerling (Clueless) and Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous).

Coach Bill of The Team Hendryx blog has a post about Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie as he caught it on a late night. Please visit his post when you get a chance.

Lastly, it's often debated in small circles which teen comedies influenced the thousands of others that were made from the 80's on. The discussions often boil down to two - Animal House (1978) and Fast Times. Both have great soundtracks, many quotable lines, and fronted by rising stars. Although Animal House was made first, Fast Times set the bar. Now, I can't gauge how much influence that Animal House had on Fast Times, but I do realize that the ending of Fast Times, e.g. the narratives on what happened to each character, follows that of Animal House.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little ashamed to admit that I haven't got around to catching this one yet, I've been meaning to for ages. Thanks for giving me the reminder!!


Soren said...

Tracey - You won't be disappointed!

David Pilliter said...

Phoebe Cates, we miss ya, please come back to films soon. So many have try'd to copy her from Fast Times, but she's still the best. After seeing recent pix of her, she's still as hot as then. Kevin Kline, your one lucky s.o.b.