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Fast Times at Ridgemont High
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Reviews & Ratings for
Fast Times at Ridgemont High More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Fast, yeah. High, check.

5/10
Author: thesar-2 from United States
5 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

OK, I missed the boat. Much like 1983's Scarface. I simply waited too long.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is as dated as they come, yet all the males (mostly, if not exclusively straight) remember this movie fondly. Heck, it was featured just recently in the most current American Dad episode. (Side Note: thankfully, I just now saw this, so I knew who Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) was and could catch the reference.) So, it's an enormously influential part of the everyday heterosexual male's life.

Is it because of the extensive female nudity? The surfer-dude anarchy/teachers N school sucks! attitude? How about the whole package: show a movie that should contain male nudity, such as the boy's locker room or a guy masturbating, but don't because guys don't want to see that?

Pause. Yep, that's what guys wanted to see. No sausages, only breasts. Well. You'll get that, plus so little more!

Such as NO PLOT. Guys fooling around. A school year that passes before your eyes. Teachers that are a blind as politicians to the American voter's needs.

What more do you want?

Well, I want more. But, even being late to seeing this movie, roughly thirty years – argh, I need some resemblance of a plot line. Halfway through this movie I was trying to figure out what it was all about. And then when it ended, I said: "Oh! I now know…less than when it started."

That said…the movie wasn't terrible. It was funny for the most part. It had a great soundtrack.

Is it a movie I want to see again? NO. Is it because I'm not heterosexual? NO. Is it because I saw it 30 some odd years too late? NO. It's because I enjoy my movies with substance.

That doesn't make this a terrible movie as it was a fun viewing. But it does make it a one-time, event film that would've been great for horny boys in the early 80s. Step into (EVEN) 1983 and we've already outdated ourselves. Haven't we? Whoa! Dude!

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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Badly dated

5/10
Author: faraaj-1 (faraajqureshi2401@gmail.com) from Sydney, Australia
23 July 2006

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is considered a classic 80's comedy. The 80's were a pretty low decade for cinema as a whole and this is not a classic even by 80's standard. The only interesting thing is to see a very young Sean Penn as a drugged out high-school student. The entire movie is about getting laid and tries to show how high school was/is in the 80's. There is not even a semblance of a plot and the direction by Amy Heckeling is quite irritating.

The cast also includes a very young Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates - both of whom appear nude (a redeeming aspect to the movie...hehehe) and Judge Reinhold from the Beverly Hills Cop series.

Better 80's comedies would include anything by Eddie Murphy or director John Hughes. This one is not worth wasting two hours over.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

I hate the message

2/10
Author: Thorn Caldorian from United Kingdom
13 December 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film moved me deeply - but perhaps not the way its creators intended.

A woeful tale of the mistakes a young girl makes while growing up, complete with a soppy ending where she gets the pathetic guy she always "should" have been with all along. Stacy has a one-night-stand with a radio repairman, gets pregnant after another one-night-stand with a creep at her school and finally realizes that all along she should have been looking at "real" people with deep underlying personalities rather than just empty jerks with a pose they project to the world. I suppose, on some very basic level, I loathe this film because every good-looking girl I ever dated would always tell me how her first time had been with some garbage (like Damone in the film) who dumped her a week later. The film projects a story that's commonly true - good looking girls who have their first experiences with the proverbial drek of the gutter; only to come around after a while and get married to the "nice" guy who was there all along. The message that I get from this film is.. if you behave like a nice guy and not like a jerk - you'll eventually get the leftovers.. and good-looking girls can make mistakes because eventually they can still have meaningful relationships despite it all. The film was off though.. my ending would have had Ratner reject Stacy and tell her she'd debased herself in his eyes before going off and having the relationship he'd always deserved with another girl who hadnt made the same mistakes. After all, Ratner hadnt made those mistakes and throughout the whole film he'd been saving himself for Stacy and never dating anyone else. What sort of moral justice is there in Ratner finally having a relationship with Stacy only after she'd finally given up on all the sewage around her? In fact, I couldn't really identify with Ratner - he was friends with Damone. The only character I could seriously identify with was ironically Mr. Hand; who eloquently tries to reform the students so they don't become jobless dropouts. Mr. Hand comes across in the film almost as comic relief - certainly viewers aren't supposed to actually respect him as a character and he doesn't get that much screen time.

So.. in summary, this film is provocative. Its not provocative because it says anything new or original - on the contrary, its provocative because it says what all of us already knew.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

this some repugnant sh*t!

5/10
Author: Neil Amos (namos@hughes.net) from CA
12 January 2004

This movie is really offensive. When I saw it a few years ago I thought it was very funny however viewing it now leads me to the conclusion that it is a morally devoid wasteland of unrealistic material.

This film purports to be about what high school is Really Like, however its wild exploitation undermines this goal thouroughly. Jennifer Jason Leigh's character is apparently supposed to be about 15, and engages in a rather cute relationship with some geek that works at the movie theater. Well, how nice. This sounds realistic, and it is easy to identify with these characters. But wait! It seems the very young Ms. Leigh also likes to get screwed by creepy 25 year old guys who work at the mall and troll for young flesh and banged by a guy she has known for approximately .01 seconds in her poolhouse. Notice the duality? On one hand she is a normal, precocious 14-15 year old and on other she is a sexual deviant who has no shame and is thoroughly reprehensible. The reason for this behavior would be described by the filmmakers as reflecting the reality of High School, which is a goal that for some reason humanity has determined is worthy of an enormous amount of study and thought. Who cares? Leigh was 18-19 during filming, which justifies her getting naked just fine, however the justification for showing supposedly very young characters in graphic sexual situations with no other purpose than to be "real" is absurd and patently unrealistic.

I'm no Christian Right extremist, but these characters that exist in this kind of moral vacuum just do not exist as they do in this film. Leigh's character having dirty sex and talking dirty sex and having an abortion is presented in the film as a normal right of passage for a young teenager. I honestly don't believe anyone I knew when I was 15 was having lots of sex, and if they were, it wasn't with strange random people while putting up a facade of being normal and innocent. This movie really makes my skin crawl, and hopefully won't be accepted by anyone looking for the elusive "reality" of high school. Want reality? Check out Ghost World or Dazed and Confused for characters that accurately reflect high school and its aftermath.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Only historical

5/10
Author: Clara B.
19 June 2004

I'm a huge fan of 80's comedies because they are so silly and light-hearted and strange. This is why I decided to view "Fast times at Ridgemont High" one night. I was expecting pure fluff, and that's not what I got.

I wasn't born in 1982. I'll be honest, I graduated high school not too long ago, yet there was something so familiar in this movie that I wanted to run away from it. If you're a teenager or a young adult, you'll probably have seen extremely dumb movies such as "American pie". You'll probably also have watched series made for teenagers in order to preach to them about "serious matters" like pregnancy. After watching this, I realized that it was the first movie of these two categories. I wasn't born in 1982, and what was in this movie doesn't seem outrageous or innovative to me, but I'm aware that it was at the time and that it created a genre. This is why I'm calling this movie historical.

This movie is like many series and movies of the 80's and 90's that I've seen. A very silly and stupid cover hiding something that brings up "deep" topics. In that way, it's not a honest movie. It's so dishonest that it can lead us to believe that it's an exploitation movie. I'm still not sure if it is or not at this point. There was nothing funny about it in my opinion. I disliked American Pie, but I thought it was much funnier than this. The only reason I think a young person today would want to watch this is the nudity.

I don't know how life in the 80's was and I'll never know. But I know what life in the 90's and the 2000's is, and I can tell you that many TV series aimed at teenagers used the same formula that's easy to notice in "Fast times.."

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Was anyone else bothered by the way abortion was presented in this film?

5/10
Author: Asmus Teis from Vancouver, BC
9 June 2002

When I saw this film a few years ago in the late 90's as a teen, I was floored by the irresponsibility that the teenagers in the film had in their approach to sex, and then especially with Jennifer Jason Leigh's character's nonchalance at having an abortion. I am a male, and thus cannot comment from personal experience, but I would think that the decision of whether or not to have an abortion would be a slightly bigger decision than it is to her in the film? Her conversation with the baby's father is as such: "I'm pregnant." "Whoa. I guess you're wanting an abortion?" "Yes. And I want you to pay half and drive me to the clinic." I also would think that the abortion itself would be more traumatizing than it is presented in the film; Leigh's character tells all her friends immediately what a b****rd that guy was for not driving her to the clinic. I don't consider myself to be sexist in any way, but I lose respect for a woman with such a nonchalant fatalistic approach to sex. Perhaps the book describes this better? I'm not sure. But I don't think the film sets a very good example.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Vomit inducing

3/10
Author: policy134 from Denmark
20 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know but this supposed teen comedy always made me a little sick to watch. It's fun to see some soon to be stars before they made it big but the content is not handled in a very fun way.

Take the character of Stacy Hamilton. Either she is totally out of it or the screenplay didn't know how to service her character. She comes out looking pretty messed up by the end. I suspect that her character was merely meant to schock and break taboos. Like the director said: Hey, look what you can show on film that you couldn't before. It's quite amazing that the director is a woman.

There is of course Sean Penn. He is the only character that goes through something that is both funny and oddly believable. It is definitely the most funny performance of his entire career and he plays well with Ray Walston as Mr. Hand.

The rest, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates and especially Judge Reinhold are pretty terrible. Phoebe Cates does have an exceptional nude scene (wonder if Kevin Kline ever saw it?) and she is pretty cute to look at. Judge Reinhold gets humiliated all through to the end. Who wants to see a realistic robbery in a teen comedy? Oh, well. It gave James Russo something to do.

So, mixed genres doesn't always a good movie make. But see it and judge for yourself. It definitely leaves an impression.

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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

There is no way to summarize this movie

4/10
Author: ThorBloodEagle from Canada
20 May 2005

This movie was a huge disappointment to me. I had heard great things and was expecting to see an amazing movie, how wrong I was. The movie had no plot, no conflict and no character development. Some people have said that even though there was not plot, it was still a good movie as it encompassed life in the 80's perfectly. I disagree. The lack of plot was a poor choice by the director and writer. It made the movie less enjoyable and much less believable. Without a conflict, there is nothing to keep you hooked on the movie and want to finish watching it, except the hope that it can only get better (which it never does). When there was a conflict, it was solved within the next couple minutes in a very non-satisfactory way. For example: "I'm pregnant" "What should we do about it" "I'm getting an abortion. you pay for half and give me a ride" "ok." And thats all that happened with that. It was ridiculous.

The lack of character development was also terrible. Not once did I ever feel attached to one of the characters. There were so many little sub plots that there was no attention drawn to one character or set of characters. You did not ever really get to know any one of the characters.

The movie felt like it was trying to copy "National Lampoon's Animal House", but it did a horrible job of it. Sean Penn's character Jeff Spicoli seemed to be an attempt at John Belushi's famous "Bluto". However, it didn't work. I cannot even begin to explain to you how bad this movie was in any sensical way.

All in all, it is a movie that you probably should see in your life as it is, for some reason, a classic. HOwever, do not expect much (if anything) from the movie or you will be highly disappointed as i was. The only reason i rated it 4/10 is because there is an old Volkswagon Van (better known as the Hippie Van) and I want one. Without the Hippie Van, the movie gets a 2.

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5 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Not that good in my opinion

1/10
Author: VCARuby
12 December 1999

After seeing this movie, I really don't know why so many people like it that much. It was an OK movie with a few cute parts, but other than that, I didn't care for it that much. A lot of it is because I'd heard that it was so funny, but I personally didn't think there was anything absolutely hilarious in it, not even Sean Penn's surfer-dude character. However, I didn't grow up in the '80s and that may be why I don't think it was that great, but the people that did grow up then probably think it's better because they can relate to the movie much more.

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1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Were All Early 1980s Movies This Stupid?

2/10
Author: leighabc123 from Portsmouth, Virginia
5 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie dealt with controversial themes for this time period. Abortion. Somethings that I cannot mention on this site. The funniest part of the movie was when the arrogant history teacher got revenge on the main character by showing up in his bedroom and making him learn all the things he should have learned in class during the school year. This was one of Forrest Whitaker's first movies. After winning an Oscar, I know he wants to erase this movie from his memory. Overall, this movie had a bunch of hyperactive, stupid teenagers. I rarely laughed during this entire movie. But some of the music in this movie was great.

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