Before he became an overrated filmmaker, Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) was a reporter for Rolling Stone who was so youthful looking that he could go undercover for a year at a California high school and write a book about it. He wrote the script for this film, based on that book, and it launched the careers of several young actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, and, above all, Sean Penn. The story line is episodic, dealing with the lives of iconic teen types: one of the school's cool kids, a nerd, a teen queen, and, most enjoyably, the... class stoner (Penn), who finds himself at odds with a strict history teacher (a wonderfully spiky Ray Walston). This is not a great movie but very entertaining and, for a certain age group, a seminal movie experience. --Marshall Fine [show more]
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Cult 1980s comedy directed by Amy Heckerling and starring Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Judge Reinhold. Based on the real events recounted in Cameron Crowe's novel, the film follows a group of high school students in southern California who are looking for love and fun in their teenage years. 15-year-old Stacy Hamilton (Leigh) is desperate for boys to see her as a woman but when she lies about her age to date an older man, she is left feeling hurt and used when she learns he is only after one thing. When Mark (Brian Backer), a friend of Stacy's friend Mike (Robert Romanus), declares his love for sweet, innocent Stacy, Mike agrees to school him in the science of women.