At age 22, writer Cameron Crowe returned to high school, posing as a student, and wrote a book about his experiences. In adapting the book, director Amy Heckerling created a brashly funny yet sensitive comedy that has become a cult favorite.
Chronicling a year in the lives of a group of California teenagers, the film follows the fortunes of Ridgemont High senior Brad Hamilton (Judge Reinhold) and his freshman sister Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Brad's popularity wanes when he loses his "good" fast-food job, and Stacy is introduced to
the wonders of boys by Linda (Phoebe Cates). Mark "Rat" Ratner (Brian Backer) has a big crush on Stacy, but it's oily Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) who initiates her into the world of sex. The film's most memorable character is the perpetually stoned surfer played by Sean Penn. His confrontations
with Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a draconian history teacher, provide the film's finest moments.
In addition to adapting his novel for this film, onetime rock critic Crowe also wrote the screenplay for the less successful teenage comedy THE WILD LIFE before making his directorial debut with the extraordinary SAY ANYTHING. Forest Whitaker (GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, BIRD), Anthony Edwards (MR.
NORTH, TOP GUN), and Eric Stoltz (MASK, MEMPHIS BELLE) made their film debuts in this superior teen comedy. leave a comment