Tuesday 19 December 2023

Movie Review: Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)

Genre: Teen Romance Comedy
Director: Howard Deutch
Starring: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson
Running Time: 95 minutes

Synopsis: Art-loving teenager Keith (Eric Stoltz) is an outcast at his high school, but anyway sets his eyes on the popular Amanda (Lea Thompson), who is currently dating wealthy jerk Hardy (Craig Sheffer). Keith is best friends with tomboy drummer Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), who is secretly in love with him. Amanda surprisingly agrees to go out on a date with Keith, disrupting all expectations within the high school social circles.

What Works Well: Written and produced by John Hughes, this is a smart and often funny romantic quadrangle set in the emotional jungles of the late teen years. The characters exist in pleasing realities of grey, working class and middle class melding as high schoolers grapple with hierarchy and deploy seduction for status advancement. Keith's home environment is rounded with go-to-college pressure from his dad (John Ashton) and animated contributions from his sister (Maddie Corman). Mary Stuart Masterson's nuanced performance is full of wistfully calibrated emotions, and in an early role, Elias Koteas has fun as an unlikely artist-in-the-making.

What Does Not Work As Well: The script is an almost exact mirror image of Pretty In Pink, so the originality quotient is low even for this sub-genre. The ending is rushed: Keith, Amanda, and especially Watts all earned a few more minutes than allocated to reflect on their journeys.

Conclusion: A sharp-eyed comedy about the politics of young love.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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