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Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 12 June 1998 (USA)
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Multicharacter teenage comedy about high school graduates with different agenda of life on graduation night.
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Popularity
3,038 ( 321)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Love Hewitt ... Amanda Beckett
Ethan Embry ... Preston Meyers
Charlie Korsmo ... William Lichter
Lauren Ambrose ... Denise Fleming
Peter Facinelli ... Mike Dexter
Seth Green ... Kenny Fisher
Michelle Brookhurst ... Girl Whose Party It Is
Alexander Martin ... Exchange Student
Erik Palladino ... Cousin Ron
Channon Roe ... Jock #1
Sean Patrick Thomas ... Jock #2
Freddy Rodríguez ... Jock #3 (as Freddy Rodriguez)
Joel Michaely ... X-Phile #1
Jay Paulson ... X-Phile #2
Brian Hall Brian Hall ... Real Homeboy
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Storyline

It's high school graduation and, like all seniors, they want to party. So, 500 high school seniors look forward to a party while, in the meantime, a boy wants to get a girl he's loved for years who just broke up with her boyfriend, and one head-case who wants revenge on a lifelong bully. So, the party comes, things develop. People have sex, drink, and go along with most of the guidelines of a high school graduation party. Written by Robbie Cooper <tweak@snet.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An event eighteen years in the making. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for teen drinking and sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Party See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,025,910, 14 June 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,339,117, 30 August 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamie Donnelly, who played Jan from Grease, played the teacher in Preston's (Ethan Embry) story of how he met Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt). See more »

Goofs

When Amanda comes down the stairs her hair is done. In the next shot when she reaches the bottom of the stairs coming in to the yard, her hair is very flat. Then Preston says "Amanda, I love you" she turns around and her hair is done again. See more »

Quotes

Kenny Fisher: [thinking] All right this is it. It is finally time for Kenny Fisher to become... da man. Now I've done my laps, and all ten finalists are present and accounted for. Ten lovely ladies, yo. Each one at my disposal. Ten willing and able tour guides into the theme park of love. But who will it be? Which of you gorgeous ten will be the lucky one?
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Crazy Credits

Yearbook photos of all the characters in the movie are shown as the end credits roll. See more »

Alternate Versions

In order to receive a PG-13 rating a number of scenes where deleted altogether from the final print. The missing scenes are:
  • All of the scenes involving a character called the Crying Drunk Girl (Jennifer Elise Cox) who is so drunk that she has subtitles for when she speaks and she is the key to what is going on in movie. Her missing scenes of dialogue are:
  • After Preston and Denise talk with the Yearbook Girl, the Crying Drunk Girl walks up to them and says, "Thush bezt weveram sisu gizem chext ear." (subtitle translation: "This is the best party ever! I'm gonna miss you guys next year!) She group hugs them and walks away where Preston says, "There's one at every party."
  • After Preston walks away from the Exchange Student at the backyard pool, the Crying Drunk Girl walks over to the Exchange Student and says to him, "Idlik tach yre enis!" (I'd like to touch your penis!)
  • When Kenny and Denise suddenly get locked in the upstairs bathroom and scream "NOOOOO!!!" the tracking shot from the bathroom door leads down the steps directly to the Crying Drunk Girl who somehow hears them and she says "Yerd dum shelling yers chairs." (Did anyone hear that? Somebody's yelling for help upstairs!) But since no one can understand her, no help comes to Kenny or Denise.
  • When Amanda is talking to the Stoned Guy and the Watermelon Guy about who Preston is, the Crying Drunk Girl stumbles over to Amanda, leans on her shoulder, and says: "Snow stun shy is shy sumber shess sing." (I know who Preston Meyers is. I can give you his phone number, his address, anything.) Unable to understand her, Amanda just shrugs her off and walks away.
  • During the police raid, one of the cops is talking to the Crying Drunk Girl on the front lawn of the house who asks her to stop crying and speak clearly and she says, "I allred tdya, mnwans is mray hunds, ive at seveithg nolfok. (But I already told you! My name is Mary Hampson and I live and 1781 Norfolk!) Unable to understand her, the cop puts in her in a police van with Kenny's two Homboys and others who include the Hippy Girl, the Headbanger and others.
  • Also deleted was the scene involving the Stoned Girl (Amber Benson) who is glimpsed holding a banana as William walks through the kitchen to taste his first beer. It takes place in between the scenes where Kenny hits on Ashley and Jana where he sees her leaning against a dining room shelf and talks to her, but all she says is "Okay" everything he says. Then another girl walks in and thanks Kenny for finding her and says that Stephanie (the name of the Stoned Girl) just took three thingies of herbal ecstasy is so out of it. The girlfriend helps the Stoned Girl to her feet and they leave, leaving Kenny alone and downbeat.
  • Also deleted was the original opening which takes place in a bookstore the day before the graduation where Preston is talking to Denise about his desire for Amanda and his plans for going away to college.
  • When Kenny and his two homeboys first arrive at the party, Kenny plays around with a large sheepdog, named Mr. Tuxford, at the front door who belongs to the Girl Whose Party It Is, who jumps onto Kenny licking his face where he pushes the dog away who runs out the front door and the Girl runs after him.
  • There is more dialogue after when Kenny and Denise are released from the upstairs bathroom where the Girl Whose Party It Is continues yelling at Kenny and about the destruction they brought to her house as they are walking down the stairs where the house is now completely deserted and ransacked, and then the Girl's dog runs into the house and she drops to one knee and hugs the dog while Kenny takes this distraction to walk out and follow Denise.
  • A scene where the Watermelon Guy holds up a large watermelon and says "This was in my freezer since September and I've poured six bottles of vodka into it and I've been saving it for this time!" When all the guys around him grab at it, the watermelon falls on the kitchen floor splattering.
  • A scene in the "make-out room" where Mike Dexter enters looking for Amanda in the basement lit with dim red light and he turns on the basement lights revealing a dozen or more scantly clad boys and girls necking and shirtless William is among them with one of the Groupies and another girl. William gets up, puts on a blue band shirt, turns the lights back off and follows Mike upstairs after saying he remembers what he was supposed to do tonight.
  • During the raid when the Yearbook Girl tries getting her yearbook floating on the swimming pool after William throws it in, she falls head first into the pool. She climbs out and runs into a group of kids running from the cops and falls back in the pool again. Then the Reminiscing Guy appears, pulls her out with of the pool as her savior with her yearbook and they make their getaway.
  • More scenes with William and the Stoned Guy who put marijuana in the mini dinosaur and inhales from the mouth and then gives it to William for a try.
  • As Preston is walking away from the trash cans after throwing away his letter to Amanda, he passes by a car where a girl's leg is sticking out of a window and the unmistakable sounds of lovemaking are heard from the car.
  • An extended scene with Kenny and his two Homeboys in the convenience store where they are talking while they are bringing their stuff to the cash register to purchase.
  • In the scene where the Hippy Girl is tasting a marijuana brownie with the Hippy Guy, she tells him that he's supposed to melt the weed in with the butter, not put it in the mix and then says: "these brownies suck!" and then throws it in the direction of Denise.
  • The final scene at the diner is expanded with a shot from the Yearbook Girl and the Reminiscing Guy looking at some romance between them, the shot moves to the next booths where they show the band of the bass player, drummer, guitarist and lead singer trying to make sense about the night before, to the Foreign Exchange Student and the Crying Drunk Girl having found each other and both talking in incoherent, nonsense language and understanding each other, to at least two other booths, including the Girl Whose Party it was, before stopping at the booth with Mike Dexter and his jock friends.
  • The final parts of 'where the characters are now' were changed. The original Kenny and Denise part originally read: Denise dumped Kenny later that day. Denise went to NYU, where she found a whole bunch of people just like her. Bored at it all, she dropped out and started shooting photo covers for Rolling Stone Magazine. She currently directed the latest music video for Wu-Tang Clan.
  • The original Kenny bit read: Kenny went to UCLA and found a bunch of people just like him. Unable to compete, he reinvented himself as an eco-conscious vegan nudist. He currently lives with a cult in Northern California.
  • Other character bios read: William's friends, Geoff Piccirilli and Murphy Pelan, did not go to college. They created a comic book called Citizen X about a man with no identity, no Social Security number, nothing, who uses his anonymity to infiltrate numerous conspiracies involving the government, aliens, and the abduction and subsequent probing of them and other innocent people by extraterrestrials. They are currently dating no one.
  • Another character quote reads: Amanda's cousin, Ron, is currently in prison.
  • The Girl Whose Party It Is was also featured and it reads: The Girl Whose Party It Was, Molly Stinson, dropped out of college her freshman year to work as an intern for her role model, Martha Stewart. Three months later, she was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. She is currently working as a librarian.
  • The Crying Drunk Girl's character read: The Crying Drunk Girl, Mary Hampson, attended college for nearly two years, then dropped out to become a tour guide at the White House, a job she still holds. Her favorite times at work is leading groups of school children in an enthusiastic rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Connections

References Family Matters (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Ghost Radio
Written by Joe Strummer and Brian Setzer
Performed by The Brian Setzer Orchestra (as Brian Setzer Orchestra)
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I couldn't hardly believe it but...
25 July 2005 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

...This is actually one of the most entertaining teen comedies I've seen yet. In the post-John Hughes teen era, 1998's underrated multi-character comedy, "Can't Hardly Wait," a joint venture by directors Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, is funny and engaging in a way most teen comedies aren't anymore. This is a movie I've seen a fair number of times over the years but I have to admit a particular fondness for the characters, despite an uneven script and other writing issues, as it brings back memories of my high school career, which I left in June of 2004.

In the movie, Denise Fleming (Lauren Ambrose) reminds the audience that "fate works in some really {expletive} ways sometimes" - we get rebuffed every time we want something to happen but doesn't. But sometimes life cuts us a break and that's what would happen for Lonely Guy Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry). For four long years, Preston has pined for Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who is of course the pretty cheerleader and has conveniently ended her relationship with her idiot jock boyfriend Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli). In the opening sequences, Preston explains the circumstances regarding his "fateful" relationship with Amanda. An aspiring writer, Preston has revised and revised a soul-bearing love letter that will confess to Amanda the feelings and reasons for why they were destined to be together despite life elements that have proved otherwise. Preston plans to give her the letter at a post-graduation party the night before he's scheduled to leave for Boston. And of course, a number of circumstances and misunderstandings will hamper Preston's dogged determination to give Amanda his letter. But before one writes this off as a typical teen romance, please let me continue...

Even more interesting, are the various subplots taking place paralleled next to the main plot line. Mike Dexter isn't exactly the most cherished individual in high school, as explained by William Lichter (Charlie Korsmo), in a verbal tirade that parodies Bill Pullman's inspirational speech from "Independence Day" (1996). Along with his two geek buddies, William plans to lure Mike and one of his random jock friends to the pool house, take Polaroids, and capture them in a "naked embrace." However, circumstances allow William to become the unlikely life of the party. Meanwhile, wannabe homeboy Kenny Fisher (Seth Green), plans to "sex as many honies" as possible at this party. He's got the full kit in his backpack, including the "Kama Sutra," the Hindu book of love. But his plans take a backseat when he's locked in the upstairs bathroom with Denise. It is here that the two former friends, now strangers, confront one another about the drastic changes their lives have taken since junior high, and it is this portion of the script that comes to be the most interesting, largely because of the interaction between Ambrose and Green. In addition to these, there are plenty of smaller subplots including a foreign exchange student, the party hostess as she tries to control the night's events (as well as her sanity), a yearbook geek (Melissa Joan Hart) who wants to be the first to get the signature of every graduating senior, William's nerd buddies who are on top of the pool house, and a band called Loveburger (fronted by Breckin Meyer) tries to get its act together but in-fighting nearly proves to be the group's demise. Boy, it's going to be one hell of a night...

Despite its script problems, "Can't Hardly Wait" is sure to get some kind of a cult following in a few years, which of course comes from the fact that the subplots are far more interesting than the core story. But I dismiss it as nothing truly detrimental to the film as a whole. Of course, my favorite story just happens to be the one with Amanda and Lonely Guy Preston. (I guess it's because I more or less fall into the category of high school Lonely Guys who pine for the pretty girl but don't get the pretty girl.) Yet, "Can't Hardly Wait" obviously can't hardly wait for some kind of cult fame over the next couple of years.

7/10


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