I still think very few films get high school as spot on and accurately as Fast Times at Ridgemont High does. Even though it is a movie for “West Coasters,” I spent my whole life growing up in the Northeast, and the film is really universal, all across the board, even if surfing isn’t. You replace Jeff Spicoli’s surfing habit in this film with skateboarding, and you have a perfect example of what growing up in the Northeast was like. Hell, what growing up ANYWHERE was like.
And do you know why this movie is so accurate?
Because GENIUS Cameron Crowe went back to school in his 20’s for a year in Cali, taking notes as he wrote this movie. So this is not a movie some fat, old, out of touch guy wrote about how he imagines high school to be. No, this is a love letter, from a young man who went through it TWICE, and it pulls the veneer off being a teenager. Fast Times has sex, drugs, and abortions. Fast Times has cruel teachers and stoner heroes. It is everything high school STILL HAS, and it was released in 1982.
So all you teens who think the world is so different from how it was in the late seventies and early eighties, watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High and you’ll realize, nothing has changed. Literally, nothing.
Well, actually, there are more guns now, but I am not touching that.