Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

Written and Directed by Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan
Starring Ethan Embry, Seth Green, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Jennifer Love Hewitt

My Advice: Wait and Rent It.

He who hesitates is lost.  That's what Preston (Embry) discovers when he misses what he was sure was his chance to get together with Amanda (Hewitt) on her first day of school.  Instead, she spends four years as Mike's (Peter Facinelli) girlfriend.  Now that Mike and Amanda have broken up right at graduation time, Preston sees his chance to right the wrong and get the girl of his dreams.

Although this is the main storyline of the film, there are other characters who bring their own plots with them.  The Preston/Amanda story is actually the most sweet, but the least interesting of them all.  There's Kenny (Green), who thinks he's black and speaks appropriately, getting upset when people waste his flava.  Denise (Ambrose) is the school outcast, who goes along with her friend Preston on his mission and finds herself alone in the hostile territory that is a high school party.  Then there's William (Korsmo), the class nerd, who wants revenge on Mike for years of humiliating torment.

The film is essentially a John Hughes piece on speed, bordering on self-parody.  And that's when it does the most good, going above and beyond the teen high school genre and even thumbing its nose at it.  Especially scenes where Hewitt's character comes face to face with the teenybopper cutout girls who supposedly are her friends but she sees them for what they are--ridiculous.  You can almost see the realization on her face, "Oh God, I'm in a high school flick."  And it's priceless.  When it slows down to have introspective moments, like when Preston explains his devotion to Amanda, it still manages to keep rolling back into humor somehow.

The best performances are the uncredited cameos by Jenna Elfman as an unlikely angel and Jerry O'Connell as a guy who is essentially superjock Mike a few years down the line.  Other than that, Seth Green is completely out of control as Kenny, and it's quite amusing to watch him work.  Although a little uneven, when it does score it scores big and so therefore it's no loss on the small screen.

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