6.5/10
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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

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

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

Taglines:

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

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bánomisén  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$46,347 (USA) (10 July 1998)

Gross:

$307,037 (USA) (16 October 1998)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »


Soundtracks

Proud Mary
Written by John Fogerty
Performed by Emilie Kikla, Danny Verakis, and Steve Kraft
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User Reviews

A superb, non-glamourized coming-of-age film.
23 June 1999 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

It wasn't originally my intent to comment on this film, but, after seeing some of the idiotic postings denigrating this fine effort, I felt compelled.

I was rather taken aback by the honesty of this tale. To quibble about the automobiles or the Hardee's cups shows such a lack of perception as to what was attempted here, that it truly boggles the mind.

The dissenting voices here clearly prefer the artificial, rose-colored-glasses view of high school as offered by "Sixteen Candles" or other films of John Hughes. But, for most, and maybe this realization only becomes apparent once one has some significant distance from one's high school experience, for most the high school experience is NOT a star-spangled memory a la "Ridgemont High", "Dazed and Confused", or even "American Graffiti".

These formulative years, more often than not, are times of discovery, of embarrassment, of confusion. and of long stretches of boring and mundane matters.

Writer/director Skoog captured, with no illusion whatsoever, the awkwardness of this period, with the realism and honesty worthy of of a Ken Loach or Mike Leigh. For most people, life is NOT "Ten Things I Hate About You", it is about self-discovery and awareness, and sorting out one's rightful place in the human equation. Skoog's two main characters superbly realized this human comedy.

Anna is a beautiful, talented young girl who has not come to grips with either her talent nor her beauty. She is so easily buffeted by the forces surrounding her, be it her bad-girl best friend or the men who are more than willing to introduce her to the awkwardness of sexual initiation, that it is often heartbreaking to watch.

The fact of the matter is that bad things happen to good people, and in watching Anna attempt to navigate her way through her voyage of discovery, the film subtly explores its themes with rare honesty.

The treatment of sexuality is amongst the film's strongpoints. The peer pressure to conform and the curiosity of the unknown is explored with sensitivity. The bare boobs approach of most teen films is abandoned here for a heartfelt examination of the myriad of forces that are involved in human sexuality...the various dynamics, be they sexual or power, that make the experience a lot more than just a procreative act.

These aren't "characters", these are living, breathing people with inexplicable, self-destructive urges as well as a completely realistic complacency that often allows them to be drawn into situations that are not in their best interests.

This is one of the finest coming-of-age films I have ever seen. If you are a mature, perceptive cinema lover without need for an artificial, romanticized approach to the teen experience, do yourself a favor and check out, "Whatever".


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