Friday, March 2, 2012

Retro Review Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

Can't Hardly Wait.

Cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry

 Writers: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont

Directors: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan

**'s out of four.

                                   (Theatrical Poster:  Image Link)

"Can't Hardly Wait" is a party movie about the last year of a Senior Class in 1998. It has some great characters and funny moments, and I remember liking it when I saw it with friends back than.  I recently re watched it and found for the most part it still holds up pretty well.
 Some of the references and jokes are out dated but at least the characters were all interesting to watch.  It's one of those parties I enjoyed going to but wouldn't want to visit frequently.  Since the movie is over ten years old it was interesting to go back and see how well these actors have aged and for the most part they did pretty well.  Jennifer Love Hewitt is still a knockout and Jason Segel looks like he barely aged at all.

The movie has tons of different characters and plots, but the main one is about this really nice, but kind of creepy guy Preston Myers(Ethan Embry).  He is  trying his best to win the affection of one of the most popular girls in High School ,Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt).  Earlier she has just dumped the high school heartthrob Mike Dexter(Peter Facinelli) because let's face it he was a complete douche bag. Other characters will have adventures trying to get laid or trying to exact revenge on the ones that tormented them, but the Preston stalking Amanda story always came off as kind of creepy.  I know a lot of you thought this was really sweet but that man was just too obsessive about that girl.

After watching it I'm still not completely convinced that Preston would be a better choice for Amanda.  He never seemed to have a just a normal crush. He had an obsession with this girl. I really hate to think what would happen if she turned him down or worst yelled insults at the guy. I have a feeling he would snap and the movie would have ended very differently. Plus he was walking around with this poem he wrote about her all day.   I know that in the movies this sort of gesture might be sweet, but telling someone how madly in love you are with them without actually knowing anything about them is just plain creepy. Some of you may mention that he was just too shy to go up and tell her how he feels.  True but you don't wait over four years and pick one night to tell her how you feel.  

(Clip Curtosey of Columbia Pictures)

 I liked a lot of the side stories including Charlie Korsmo as a nerd who starts off trying to get revenge on one of the Jocks but ends up becoming the life of the party. Also Seth Green albeit cheesy did have some of the best lines as the Ebonics speaking, gangster wannabe Special K. I didn't even mind some of the more dramatic moments when characters try to figure out what their future will be like after high school, because at least it was somewhat genuine although some of  the dialogue was badly written.  The ending when Preston does finally admit his love to Amanda was much better than I thought because it didn't fall into the usual trappings  these movies  do. 

"Can't Hardly Wait" follows a long tradition of parties in movies and I it made me think. How do massive parties like this get pulled off?   I have been to a few parties in High School and they were never that massive. There was even one with a hot tub and a naked room but it wasn't the drug fueled sex orgy I was hoping for. I guess I should have gone to a different school.


  1. How fitting to review this movie the same day that aberration "Project X" gets released. It's interesting to see how Hollywood's ideal of "teenage party movie" has declined. From a simple romantic comedy like "Can't Hardly Wait" to.... well, "Project X"

  2. Vern, I've said the same thing numerous times...where were these parties when I was younger and I've been to some pretty nice house parties.

    I never thought of Preston as a stalker before, but now that you've pointed it's pretty damn funny. I can't say I blame him though, I'd have stalked Jennifer Love Hewitt too!!

    A favorite scene of mine was when Jenna Elfman was dressed as an angel and Preston was trying to call the radio station when Barry Manilow's "Mandy" came on.

  3. Twodudereview. Yes Oh Yes. the scene with Jenna Elfman was among my favorites too. The party in "Can't Hardly Wait" just looked more fun. If I was Preston I would be close aquaintences with Amanda so that I could be the rebound after she dumped her boyfriend. Thanks for the comment.

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