29 user 25 critic

Whatever (1998)

R | | Drama | 10 July 1998 (USA)
A teen faces her impending adulthood in the carefree sex and drug revolution years of the early 80's prior to fears of AIDS. She lives with her bitter, divorced mother and her sadistic kid ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Stockard
Brenda Talbot
Mr. Chaminski
Carol Stockard
Marc Riffon ...
Dan Montano ...
John Woods (as John G. Connolly)
Tony Torn ...
Mr. Stanley
Trey Compton ...
Joe Mantragna ...
Matt Rumbaugh ...
Jim Neville ...
Garret Spencer ...
Destiny Matranga ...


A teen faces her impending adulthood in the carefree sex and drug revolution years of the early 80's prior to fears of AIDS. She lives with her bitter, divorced mother and her sadistic kid brother. Looking forward to a life based on her passion for art, she nevertheless gets in with the partying crowd which causes her to miss deadlines and poor grades which jeapordizes her future. Ultimately she ends up losing her virginity to an older artist wanna-be who she has had a long standing crush on. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1981. In an era of just say no, they said yes.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive teen drug and alcohol use, language including sexual dialogue, sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »


Official Sites:





Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bánomisén  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$46,347 (USA) (12 July 1998)


$307,037 (USA) (18 October 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Sam can be seen in at least two scenes wearing Batman: The Animated Series pajamas. BTAS debuted in 1992. Whatever takes place in 1981. See more »

Crazy Credits

New Jersey [played by] West Virginia See more »


In The City
Written by Paul Weller
Performed by The Jam
Courtesy of Polydor Limited
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film and TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Whatever? This is probably what you are saying to yourself.
14 September 1998 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Yes, this is a "real" movie. It's certainly not getting the attention of the mainstream Hollywood summer blockbusters but it's a lot more powerful and enjoyable.

Synopsis: The story takes place in a working class new jersey suburb set in 1981 and centers on a young woman, Anna Stockard played by newcomer Liza Weil. Anna, in her senior year of high school, comes from a broken family, hangs out with the party crowd and is uncertain of her future. Although seemingly intelligent and artistic, she lacks focus. It's unclear if Anna will end up like her hard drinking and drugging friends or fulfill her ambition to go to art school in New York City.

The film was written and directed by New Jersey native Susan Skoog and unlike other films about the 80's (e.g., Boogie Nights), "Whatever" provides a very realistic view of this era. The clothing, hair styles, slang, and music all represent the suburban early 80's not the Hollywood version.

Although many of the characters are unappealing, the film still manages to capture you. I was both riveted and disturbed by it. Weil carries the film by playing Anna with a stoic integrity - you sense that she is a survivor. Skoog has created a film where you feel as if there was a hidden camera viewing a real teenager's life back in 1981. Skoog and Weil appear to have promising careers ahead of them.

If you want to see asteroids, bombs, fireballs and explosions, the 10 plex has a whole bunch of them. If you want to see a movie that is affecting, albeit, slightly disturbing, drive a little further and checkout "Whatever ".

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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