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Always brings back memories....funny, funny film...
There is nothing not to love about this film...it still holds up as a very funny film with some great characters attached.
For The Wild Life, the obvious connection and comparison will forever be Fast Times at Ridgemont High...which is fair and fitting. Like many of us, Cameron Crowe didn't just write down his reflections of his high school days...he painted a narrative as only he can. Visual, thematically accurate and draped with the soundtracks of our youth. As great as Fast Times is, The Wild Life is "equal to" on many levels and equally as enjoyable.
Fast Times takes place during a school year chronicling several different characters as they go through the trials and tribulations of going through high school...where The Wild Life chronicles the lives of some high school kids during a summer break that is coming to a close.
One of the things that never gets mentioned is how so much of the film takes place during the night...which for me was an underscore to the high school years for a lot of us who went to high school in the late 70's and early 80's. Outdoor parties, cruising around with friends, always looking for something to do and generally staying out all night...only to do it all over again, night after night....perhaps Art Linson had the same snapshot in his head when making this film...the story being told mostly in the evening has never been lost on me.
From a character perspective, Christopher Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jenny Wright, Lea Thompson, Ilan Mitchell-Smith were perfectly cast in their respective roles....with Hart Bochner, Rick Moranis, Ben Stein, Sherilyn Fenn, Michael Bowen, Angel Salazar, Robert Ridgely and Randy Quaid among others offering terrific supporting roles that enhances the film. The musical score penned by Eddie Van Halen is also a great accent to the film....just terrific pacing.
The Wild Life is a very enjoyable film that has several memorable lines, memorable scenes with a goof or two mixed in....but the film works to this day, still holds up.
Hats off to Art Linson for making a good, funny and memorable film...released in 1984...it still resonates with those of us who remember those days fondly.
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