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The Best Legs in Eighth Grade (1984)

| Comedy | TV Movie
Man reconsiders his life after a chance meeting with a childhood acquaintance.



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Cast overview:
Mark Fisher
Rachel Blackstone
Leslie Applegate
Saint Valentine


A man meets a woman at a gym who turns out to be from his 8th grade class. She had been voted "Best legs" in his class, and he thinks she looks gorgeous now. The chance meeting causes him to reflect on his life up until then and the choices he's made, including how his current girlfriend pales by comparison. Written by Stillson Graham <stgraham@bjt.net>

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The Best Legs in the 8th Grade  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A charming little fantasy...and lots of fun!
18 August 2006 | by (Chattanooga, TN) – See all my reviews

I notice that both of the previous comments on this title were less than complimentary; please allow me a completely different take on this lovely little piece of fluff.

No, there's nothing here that's earth-shattering in its implications; there's no Oscar-quality acting; there's no major CG effects or Dolby surround sound. What there is, is four very good performers who feel extremely comfortable with their characters and their lines and work together to make their performances congeal this sweet little script into a beautifully molded whole.

I don't see how anyone can watch this (apparently) made-for-HBO vignette and come away from it with anything less than respect for the four leads. It's goofy, it's poignant, and it's the first video I "force" my up-and-coming girlfriends to watch before they make the plunge into really getting involved with me. Why is that? Simply because I am the Everyman of Tim Matheson's character (and I suspect many others are, too): always thinking there's something better coming over that next hill, even if it's that dream we left behind us a dozen years ago. In a very special way, this is a "coming of age" movie for those almost to middle age.

It's also a movie of its time. Appearing in the days before Rock Hudson died or Ronald Reagan used the word "AIDS," the almost childlike (and yet cynical) references to Herpes and diaphragms resonate with the sound of the end of the "free love" era, when the call was being sounded for young adults to indeed "come of age" in their sexual responsibilities--and it's sad to think that twenty-something years later, that call has still not been answered to any great degree. How times (don't) change.

The movie is full of life, of choices, of responsibilities, of temptations, of new chances, and now brings a little bit of nostalgia along with everything else. Annette O'Toole is absolutely flawless in her performance, and the beautiful Kathryn Harrold was never lovelier than here. Tim Matheson makes you love him, flawed as his character is, and Jim Belushi plays St. Valentine with a sentimental twist. But the movie is not sentimental, although it is filled with honest sentiment. It's a real look (St. Valentine in the flesh notwithstanding) at relationships as they were in the early '80s . . . and as they still are, to a great extent, today. (Watch also for Vincent Bufano in what was apparently his last role, reading the Latin Mass with a New York Italian accent.)

And, yes, the movie IS out on VHS, though not (as of this writing) on DVD. I have owned two copies of it myself; the first bought new in the '90s for 80 bucks, and the second purchased off eBay about 3 years ago for about 3 bucks. Funny how times do change in some respects.

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