This guest review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Cara of Silver Screen Serenade. Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Cara! She’s going to tell us what she thought of Some Kind Of Wonderful. 🙂
Just wanted to quickly say thanks to Table 9 Mutant for being so awesome as to pull this blogathon together! It was a great idea, and I’m thrilled to be taking part. Also, T9M, thanks for pretty much picking my movie for me. I suck at decisions. Lol. Anyway, review time!
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Directed by Howard Deutch
Mary Stuart Masterson
Music by Stephen Hague & John Musser
Running time: 95 minutes
Plot synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The film is set against the strict social hierarchy of an American public high school. The tomboyish Watts (Masterson) has always considered working class misfit Keith Nelson (Stoltz) her best friend. But when Keith asks out the most popular girl in school, Amanda Jones (Thompson), Watts realizes she feels something much deeper for him.
• The cool, very 1980s opening. Dramatic music! Drums! Fixing cars! Teenagers making out! Yeah this film is DOIN’ STUFF!
• Dreamy Eric Stoltz. Those blue eyes and that ginger hair…YEP.
• Elias Koteas as the film’s tough guy. He doesn’t have a huge role in this, but he’s still pretty awesome as Keith’s bully-turned-buddy, Duncan. I could see why Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wanted him to play Casey Jones a few years later.
• Mary Stuart Masterson as tomboy Watts. She plays tough yet insecure very well, and she’s got some great lines in this. For example, when Watts and Keith are talking about Amanda—Keith: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Watts: “Yeah, but you can tell how much it’s gonna cost.” You tell ‘im, sassy lady.
• Keith and Watts’ relationship. Stoltz and Masterson portray their chemistry well, and their dialogue is fun and natural.
• The detention scenes. Particularly one in which Keith and Duncan show each other their respective “artwork.” Very funny.
• Watts’ speech confessing to Keith how much he means to her. It could’ve easily come off as corny, but it’s actually one of the best moments of the film.
• Amanda is not a flat character. It’s easy to make the popular girl into a generic villain, but you actually end up admiring her by the end up the film. She has to deal with some stuff, and she grows from it.
• Duncan and co. showing up at the end of the film. Awesome. Just awesome.
• Keith is VERY stalkery with Amanda. I realize he’s got a serious case of puppy love, but he goes too far. He always seems to know where she is, and we only ever see him drawing/painting her. Plus, when he finally takes her out on a date, he blows almost all of his money on too much too soon. Woah, boy. Rein it in. You’re making this borderline horror flick sometimes.
• Is it just me or is the “pushy father who doesn’t listen” a recurring character in John Hughes movies? I’ve encountered him in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I’ve heard tales of him in The Breakfast Club, and now here he is again in the form of Keith’s father. We get it, John—1980s teen boys had daddy issues.
• Amanda’s boyfriend, Hardy. Played by Craig Sheffer, Hardy just didn’t seem like a real person to me. He’s over the top in almost every way. I’m not buying it.
• There’s a scene where Amanda flirts with an older teacher to get out of detention. First of all, ew. Second, there is no way that would ever happen. Ever. Unless the teacher was a secret perv, and that’s getting into a can of worms too dark for a lighthearted teen movie.
• The resolution is too easy and not presented in a completely satisfying way. It’s too hard to talk about this vaguely, so SPOILERS: Yes, Keith ends up with Watts, and, yes, that’s what everybody watching wants. However, Keith had zero romantic interest in Watts (even after a steamy kiss), and all of the sudden his crush on her just kind of smacks him in the face in the last five minutes of the film, leaving poor Amanda high and dry. Plus, Keith and Watts barely get to talk about their feelings, and you don’t really get to see them as a couple. END SPOILERS.
• Random, but why is this film called “Some Kind of Wonderful?” I kept waiting for them to play the song or reference something to do with it, but I don’t think that ever happened…
This film is fun! It might not be as original as The Breakfast Club or as funny as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but it definitely has that John Hughes style to it so many know and love so well. As far as teen romantic comedies go, you could do far worse.
My Rating: 7.5/10 (Probably a B+ or so on my rating system)
Haven’t seen this one, and Cara’s review isn’t quite positive to make want to change that, really.
Good review, Cara!
Thanks, Josh! I still liked it–just not as well as the other Hughes stuff I’ve seen. You’re probably right to stay away though. Kinda doubt it’d be your thing. 😉
Aww. I love this one. I know it’s really just a Pretty In Pink remake but I prefer it in many ways. Think it’s an underrated Hughes film. : )
Hmmmm. That is more positive than Cara’s response, I think. So I will take it off of the “to-avoid” list. 🙂
I hate it when films have poor titles. Neat review. Seems to lack the Hughes charm. Shame.
Yeah the title is pretty random, but I’d say it still has the Hughes charm. Not as much as some of the others, but it’s there. Thanks, Alex! 🙂
It does feel less “Hughes” than some but agree with Cara that it still has some of the Hughes charm there. I like it a lot. But, yeah – I’m clearly a big Hughes fan. ; )
I have a serious dislike of Craig Sheffer for no real reason.
I’m with you on that, Brian. I feel the same way about Gwyneth Paltrow. Except I could probably list quite a few reasons. : )
1) GOOD STUFF CARA GALE!!!!
2) This movie sounds sucky
3) What’s up with that movie poster?? Are these people about to die??
4) What’s up with those polka dots in the last pic???
5) ur cute
Sigh I love this movie, it’s not sucky. Don’t tell that to my 12 year old self please…. hahaha
Have you seen my answer to your smut yet???
which one??!! did I miss it? do tell…
My smut is awesome the girls r loving it!
Over on Zoe’s place : )
OH OK let me go look… I’ve been so busy at work… 😦 its like come on people let me blog leave me alone!
1) Thanks, buddy!!!
2) It’s not bad, but I doubt you would like it… #noboobs
3) It IS a very dramatic poster, isn’t it?
4) ’80s styles, man. Weird.
5) GO AWAY, ROBERT!!!!
Who do I reply to here?! Lol
Eric – you’d hate this with a passion. but I like it. A LOT.
snapcracklewatch – you have good taste. Unlike Eric. : )
Cara – thanks again for joining in on the blogathon. not had a chance to properly thank you on my actual blog yet! : )
You reply to ME!! ALWAYS!!! ME ME MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEME!!!!!!!
You’re very high maintenance. ; )
I love this movie so much still. I used to watch it on a constant loop. You are so right.. teenagers doing cool stuff throughout whole film… hell yeah!!!
Haha oh those crazy ’80s teens…
I blame these movies for making us believe our teen years would be the best ever!
I know right then it was filled with acne, jerk guys at school and awesome proms that never happened. lol
Haha! John Hughes did kind of ruin things a bit by making the teenage years seem like they’d be WAY better than they were. And he ruined boyfriends for me for life as no one can ever live up to Jake Ryan. ; ) As for Some Kind Of Wonderful, I’ll be reviewing it too but it’s one of the only two I think I need to re-watch first. Not watched this one in quite a long time.
Reblogged this on Silver Screen Serenade and commented:
The too-cool-for-school Miss Table 9 Mutant recently let me take part in her John Hughes blogathon. Check out my review of Some Kind of Wonderful! Also, if you haven’t already, definitely peruse some of the other John Hughes posts. Really awesome stuff so far. 🙂
Too cool for school? Lol. That’s me! : ) (Not really. I’m a total nerd!) ; )
Haven’t you heard? Nerdy is the new cool!
Nicely done, ladies :). Haven’t spoken to you both in a while! Not the biggest fan of Mr. Hughes, but have the utmost respect ;).
Joseph!! We miss you!! Thanks, buddy!! 🙂
I know, blogging and social networking will return to normal Monday! Been really sick :(.
Oh nooooo!! Feel better!!
Thanks, Joseph! Glad you at least respect the man. ; ) I admit that my love for his work comes with me being the right age to have grown up with it. : )
Yay! Thanks for letting me put in my two cents Miss Mutant! This blogathon is EPIC. 😀
I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without all the Probies! ; )
I haven’t seen this one and I’m curious. I always had a soft spot for Eric Stolz and his flaming locks.
If you like Stoltz, I say go for it! 🙂
It’s on my list!
I think you’d like this one okay, Laura. 🙂 Do you like Pretty In Pink?
Really good review Cara! Not seen this myself, might need to have a gander. Oh, and if you’re looking for a John Hughes film with a cool father, check out Sixteen Candles! Just about, anyway.
Man it’s been so long that I’ve completely forgotten most of Sixteen Candles, though I do remember liking it. I’ll have to revisit this cool father. Thanks, Adam!
I’m with Adam. Watch Sixteen Candles. One of my top Hughes films by far. : )
Excellent review Cara. This blogathon is making me realise how many Hughes films I missed out on. Definitely putting this one on the list!
Aw do it! I think you’d like it! 🙂
Yep – give this one a go, Anna! I’m going to re-watch it myself soon. : )
When I was home sick for a few days way back whenever, I alternated between this and Just One of the Guys ALL DAY. I can do without ever seeing it again. I still want to know how Ralph Macchio got those breast implants in Just One of the Guys, though.
Ha! I believe I saw Just One Of The Guys at the time but really don’t remember it. Going to hunt it down now!
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