Time: 92 mins.
Genre: High School Comedy
SYNOPSIS: The ups and downs of a group of high schoolers trying to find love while exploring sex, drugs and rock-and-roll.
BOTTOM LINE: As the first Rated R movie I ever snuck into, FAST TIMES will always hold a special place in my heart. Since I was also a shy 14-year-old scared of my sexuality and unnerved by high school, I could totally relate to what the characters were going through. I didn't know movies could do that. This film, and those of John Hughes, really created the teen flick genre, giving young adults a voice, albeit not always an intelligent one, on the big screen. A voice filled with longing, pain, resilliance and a hardy sense of humor. This is not an incredibly deep film, centering on the fantasies of a stoner, the sexual yearnings of a nerd and the burgeoning sexuality of a shy girl, yet it hits its mark with sharp humor and heartbreaking poignancy.
Phoebe Cates is everyone's fantasy girl who can never find a decent guy and Jennifer Jason Leigh is the virgin who's first sexual encounter is all too familiar...and not easy to watch. The characters are so true to life, you feel like they're your best friends. Screenwriter Cameron Crowe brings high school vividly and painfully to life, unlike most of the silly, overly-romantic crap that's made today. Teenage boys aren't princes. They're just looking to get laid and no film illuminates that fundamental difference between the sexes more accurately and humorously than this one. Penn delivers the film's most enduring and hilarious moments, breaking up the serious bits as a stoner just trying to get through history class. If these are supposed to be the best years of your life, I'm glad I didn't live in this movie. It's beginning to show its age a bit, but it still has enough soul to make you yearn for your younger days.