A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 13 – Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful – March 13, 2010

Last night we decided we really really needed something we knew we’d enjoy tonight. After The Tribe we just had to find something good. So we settled on Some Kind of Wonderful and I have a feeling we’ll agree on a lot of things. For one, I know we both think this John Hughes movie has one of the best endings. If the ending in Pretty in Pink bugs you (or The Breakfast Club, for that matter) then this one might not. It’s just bent in a slightly different direction. So that’s why we went with it tonight.

I’ve got a love/hate relationship with John Hughes movies. I love them so much, probably partially out of nostalgia, but also because they’re funny and yet manage to touch on a lot of teenage insecurities in a way that rings true and doesn’t seem dismissive. At least it didn’t to me when I was in high school. But then I hate them, because there are moments in a few (Sixteen Candles in particular) that make me wince and the endings mentioned above make me snarly. But Some Kind of Wonderful doesn’t make me snarly at all. It’s got it’s groaner moments, but there are a couple of things that make me truly happy. For one, there’s the main character’s tomboy drummer best friend Watts, whom Mary Stuart Masterson does an amazing job with, but it’s also got great dialogue, a decent-if-fluffy plot and I love that the characters do stupid things and they do stupid things for stupid teenage-logic reasons. And I definitely love the ending.

Have you seen the ending? Do you care about spoilers for a movie from 1987? I hope not.

So okay, take the plot of Pretty in Pink: Girl from the wrong side of the tracks wants to date boy with money but his friends will ditch him and her friend thinks she’s wasting her time, except it turns out they’re a great couple. And the girl’s quirky friend, who’s got a huge crush on her, ends up alone. Take that and swap the genders around. Then scrap the ending. Because that’s not how it goes. Instead you get the girl with money, Amanda (who only hangs out with the kids who have money and doesn’t have much herself) and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, Keith, going on a bizarre date during which Amanda realizes she doesn’t need a boyfriend to mean something. And she tells Keith to go find the person he should be with. And he does. And he ends up with Watts, who is still quirky and a tomboy, albeit a tomboy in a bra and diamond earrings.

Says Watts mid-movie: “This is 1987. Did you know that a girl can be whatever she wants to be?” How progressive! But really? The movie stands up to it. Amanda doesn’t keep clinging to guys to validate herself and Watts doesn’t go giving herself a complete makeover to win a jock or something equally gagworthy. I really should have watched The Breakfast Club before this one so I could have gotten out my John Hughes issues beforehand. So instead of ending on a downer, before I finish up, I would like to note that the comic relief in the movie is provided by the punks Keith meets in detention, led by Elias Koteas (whom I always mix up with the dude who plays Stabler in Law and Order: SVU), as Duncan. Duncan gets some of the best lines and moments in the entire movie. If Watts gives the movie heart, Duncan gives it humor.

Tomorrow morning (since Andy has to work in the evening) we’ll be watching L.A. Story.

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March 13, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , | Leave a comment

Some Kind of Wonderful

March 13, 2010

Some Kind of Wonderful

Ahh.. back to the eighties.  The wonderful, silly, image-obsessed eighties.

I really shouldn’t like this movie as much as I do.  I mean, it’s not really a good movie.. it’s a pretty silly movie, but for some reason it still works for me.  The plot is pretty simple.  Keith is a kid who actually has to work for a living (the horror) and is obsessed with this girl Amanda, who runs with the rich popular crowd.  Amanda has a total scumbag for a boyfriend and the stalkery Keith knows just how awful Hardy is.  Eventually Keith works up the nerve to ask Amanda out and she accepts just to get back at Hardy.

The whole movie revolves around this one date that Keith has planned with Amanda.  The first half of the film is the set-up, introducing the characters and whatnot.  The second half of the whole movie is the date itself.  A wonderful perfect date as could only exist in a John Hughes movie.  But, really, even though Keith is meant to be the protagonist of the movie it’s not really a movie about him, as far as I’m concerned.  The whole film is hijacked by Keith’s best friend, the awesome tomboy drummer Watts.  See, Watts is secretly in love with Keith.  Or not so secretly.  Keith’s just oblivious.  And Watts is awesome in just about every way.

So it’s a predictable, romance full of eighties highschool cliques.  But in the end, more than in any of these other eighties John Hughes flicks, everything turns out just right.

Oh, sure the movie is full of holes.  Like: why does supposedly working-class Keith live in this huge and very nicely appointed house with his family?  And, as my Amanda points out, just how much did those earrings cost??  But on the whole it’s a great little slice of improbable fantasy romance.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , | 1 Comment