Can’t Hardly Wait

Almost Famous - Stillwater

In the wake of the untimely passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, we here at FSR were asked to think of our favorite Hoffman performance. I immediately thought of his portrayal of rock journalist Lester Bangs in Almost Famous which got me thinking about the band Stillwater which William (Patrick Fugit) ends up following on tour. Stillwater is a fictional band created for Almost Famous, but they feel like anything but fiction, instead coming across as a real band just starting to climb the charts, easily existing alongside The Who and Black Sabbath (the band they opened for in the film). So what was it about Stillwater that made them feel like a real life band and not one simply created to help drive the story?

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scenes_canthardlywait

While it might not be the definitive high school comedy (that’s a discussion for another time), 1998′s Can’t Hardly Wait is a damn good one, and a strangely enduring new classic. Sure, the nineties-set production is dipped in era-appropriate fashion, slang, and cultural nods (X-Files, anyone?) and its cast is positively peppered by awesomely nineties talents (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Seth Green, Melissa Joan Hart, the list goes on and on), but Can’t Hardly Wait still feels applicable to teens today. Or, at the very least, it still feels like a very good approximation of the high school experience that we remember. The film turns a staggering fifteen years old this week (it was released on June 12, 1998), and in appreciation of the film that gave us a stoned Jason Segel as “Watermelon Guy,” reaffirmed the cultural relevance of Barry Manilow, and saw the wonderful Lauren Ambrose get hit in the face with a pot brownie, we give you five scenes we love from Can’t Hardly Wait.

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In the new movie Pitch Perfect, a boy (Skylar Astin) introduces a girl (Anna Kendrick) to The Breakfast Club. It’s a believable scene, on it’s own. Even if I don’t necessarily think the 27-year-old John Hughes film, classic status notwithstanding, is a hugely important thing to the generation currently heading into college, I can accept that the guy is a movie soundtrack dork who seemingly loves only titles from before his birth and that she genuinely has never seen it. But it is a bit much that the signature Brat Pack film’s ending, with its iconic Simple Minds tune and Judd Nelson freeze-framed fist thrust, is played over and over, and the film figures so prominently into the romantic plot throughout. It all just feels like something from out of the mind of a thirty-something screenwriter rather than that of these modern-day teen characters. And the movie’s writer, Kay Cannon, is indeed a child of the ’80s and admits that The Breakfast Club is something she loves from her youth. Apparently, though, Say Anything was originally the teen movie of that era to be honored and made fun of in the new a-cappella-based comedy. She also is a big fan of Hughes’s Weird Science but couldn’t make it work. But for kids born around 1995, which is the target audience as well as the roles on screen, aren’t there more relevant films to reference? Maybe Mean Girls, Bring It On, Twilight, Rushmore, Juno, High School Musical, Superbad or — going […]

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With the news that Bruce Willis thinks a Die Hard 5 is on the way sooner than we all hope, it seems like the perfect opportunity to brainstorm the best possible way to drag every last damned dime out of the franchise.

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