5.9/10
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S.F.W. (1994)

An alienated and misanthropic teenager gains sudden and unwanted celebrity status after he's taken hostage by terrorists where his indifference to their threats to kill him makes news headlines.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Morrow Streeter
...
Monica Dice
...
Janet Streeter
...
Scott Spab
...
Joe Dice
...
Gerald Parsley
Edward Wiley ...
Mr. Spab
Lela Ivey ...
Mrs. Spab
...
Kristen
...
Dolly
...
Earl
Francesca P. Roberts ...
Kim Martin
...
Milt Morris (as Soon Teck Oh)
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Storyline

Cliff Spab is a guy who doesn't really care about anything. He gets held hostage at a store for 36 days by terrorists, who demand that the entire thing be broadcast on national television. Cliff ends up taking a bullet for fellow hostage Wendy - making him a national hero. The two are the sole survivors of the ordeal, and soon become prisoners of the media. Cliff escapes it all, only to find himself being pushed further away from Wendy when he needs her most. Written by WildwoodFlower08

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate made them hostages. The media made them stars.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language, scenes of brutal violence, constant drug and alcohol use and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

So Fucking What?  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$63,649 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film contains a number of references to Seattle rock band Soundgarden. In addition to featuring their song "Jesus Christ Pose" during the opening credits, a Soundgarden poster can be seen in Spab's bedroom, one of their music videos is on the TV in Spab's suite, and the song "Like Suicide" by Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell is playing on the radio in Morrow's car. See more »

Goofs

During the last flashback, Spab is seen pulling out an Uzi that he had never acquired. See more »

Quotes

Cliff Spab: I'd like to live forever... but only for a little while.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The GWAR video seen in the movie follows the credits in its entirety. See more »


Soundtracks

Spabs Theme
Performed by Stephen Dorff
Written by Stephen Dorff
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User Reviews

 
Vicious assault on the media
4 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

S.F.W.

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Stereo

A feckless young man (Stephen Dorff) becomes an unlikely celebrity after surviving a televised hostage ordeal in his local convenience store, but he's unable to reconcile the tragedy of the siege - in which his best friend (Jack Noseworthy) was killed - with the exaggerated version of events peddled by a ratings-hungry media.

Jefery Levy's cult-movie wannabe pairs Dorff alongside relative newcomer Reese Witherspoon in a vicious assault on the contemporary media, depicted here as a soulless entity concerned solely with ratings and money (yeah, so what else is new?). The message is obvious, but Levy and co-scriptwriter Danny Rubin (GROUNDHOG DAY) revel in their own daring: Dorff and Witherspoon play ordinary characters who emerge from an extraordinary situation and are forced to confront their unexpected (and unwanted) fame. However, Levy's unflattering view of modern journalism (symbolized by John Roarke as a variety of thinly-disguised real-life TV celebrities who feed off other people's misery, and Gary Coleman in a fleeting, self-deprecating cameo) seems a little distorted and misleading, though clearly filtered through the lead character's personal viewpoint. Dorff himself is terrific, as always, playing a charismatic and foul-mouthed Everyman, scornful of the manner in which his personal misfortune has been manipulated to feed the expectations of a mindless, sensation-hungry audience. But there are moments when the screeching soundtrack fades abruptly to silence and Levy concentrates on Dorff's haunted face as he recalls key events - good and bad - from the siege, and the friendships that were forged and destroyed under extreme duress. The movie doesn't say anything new, but the execution is invigorating.

Look out for an early appearance by Tobey Maguire as a young stoner who thinks he's died and gone to heaven when he and his buddy (Dana Allan Young) encounter their idol Dorff on an empty street (a truly hilarious sequence). Steve Antin cameos as a news reporter named after his character in the equally odd INSIDE MONKEY ZETTERLAND, helmed by Levy in 1992.


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