'Can't Hardly Wait: 20 Year Reunion Edition'
(Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Ethan Embry, Charlie Korsmo, Peter Facinelli, Lauren Ambrose, et al / Blu-ray / PG-13 / (1998) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: It's graduation day at Huntington Hills High - a time for pomp and circumstance, tassels and mortarboards, and serious introspection about the future.
But tonight, the seniors will leave all that behind for the things that really matter - romance, revenge and rock 'n' roll!
Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, 'Can't Hardly Wait' had me shaky for the first forty minutes, than it introduced a sweeter side to its characters, and then it showed off its real side in the final minutes of the film.
So yeah, this teen film does have a couple of minor problems, one of which almost bogs down the film, but when I found out what it was trying to accomplish, I was more or less won over by its attempt.
It didn't succeed so great it puts the whole genre to dismay, but it does succeed in a subtle, more low-key way.
The movie follows numerous characters, all of which attending the same party, for one night of their lives. They have finished High School, and are now graduates.
All of them are going to separate schools, hoping to live successful, independent, and rewarding lives. Don't we all. These characters are all different, but provide a lot.
We have the ordinary boy (Embry) trying to win over the girl he lusted for in High School (Hewit) by giving her a sappy love note. It just so happens that same girl hates being popular.
We also get the awkward relationship between the token-white guy (Green) and the socially awkward, brutally honest outcast (Ambrose) trying to catch up on past events. And we have the nerd who becomes popular for one night in his life (Korsmo).
And we also have little minor, here and there characters including two dweebs waiting on the roof for their buddy to give them the signal to attack the jock (Facinelli), who just broke up with our main character's dream girl.
As you can see, this is a very eventful party. But the characters come off as just shallow stereotypes for the first half of the film. Just reading what the synopsis tells you enough about these characters to know, they all fit into their own stereotype.
There is some dialog that tries to morph them into proper human beings, some of which works but some doesn't. Still, the characters grew on me to the point where I cared.
But the main flaw of the film is it doesn't know how to dig deeper into the character or decorate them to make them into more recognizable humans.
The final moments in the film are where its real side starts to show. This whole movie is about an underdog. And gives the important message that High School isn't everything.
People who are popular might turn out to be losers in real life, and I've heard from adults it happens. The movie tells you that if you're not popular in High School, you may go places because others might accept you for you are.
That only makes the movie enough to recommend. Sure it does it in a comical, silly way during the epilogue, but it's an honest attempt at a good moral.
In closing, most all the actors in 'Can't Hardly Wait' grew up to be successful, and I believe everyone in the film is still acting to this day. The main characters at least.
Ergo, 'Can't Hardly Wait' is more mature than 'American Pie', per-say, but it still doesn't achieve the laughs and the connection I was hoping for.
But, its message and some of its characters (like Lauren Ambrose and the always-adorable Jaime Pressly both definitely needed more screen time) may stick with you; which is enough to let it sneak by unharmed. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
2 Commentary Tracks featuring the Cast and Filmmakers
Huntington Hills Class of '98 Reunion Special
The Making of a teen Class Featurette
The Life of the Party Featurette
"I Can't Get Enough of You Baby" - Music Video by Smash Mouth