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Teen Comedies: 6 Movies [2 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Synopsis

High School High
In this comic send-up of dramas set in urban schools (such as Lean on Me and Dangerous Minds), Jon Lovitz plays Richard Clark, a teacher who is persuaded to give up his position at Wellington Academy, an upscale private school (where the receptionist cheerfully answers calls with the question "Are you white?"), to take over a class at Marion Barry High School in Inner City, U.S.A. Marion Barry High is a far cry from the ivory-tower atmosphere of Wellington; the statue in the courtyard holds a crack pipe, the Michigan Militia sets up a booth for career day, and there's so much violence on campus that the school has its own graveyard; however, Clark is determined to reach his thick-headed charges, and he hopes to also make an impression on Victoria Chappell (Tia Carrere), a beautiful woman also on the teaching staff. Clark does battle with Evelyn Doyle (Louise Fletcher), the school's militaristic principal, in an effort to raise standards for the school's star straight-C students, and he finds that he's getting through to one of the school's toughest students, Grig (Mekhi Phifer). Screenwriters Pat Proft and David Zucker helped create The Naked Gun and its follow-ups. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Fired Up!
Nicholas D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen headline this teen comedy concerning two high-school football players who attempt to avoid another summer at football camp by becoming cheerleaders. Out on the gridiron, Gerald R. Ford High School students Shawn Colfax (D'Agosto) and Nick Brady (Olsen) are star players. But summer is drawing near, and this year neither Shawn nor Nick can stomach the prospect of spending their sun-soaked months lunging at tackling dummies and getting berated by their coach. Fortunately, Nick has a brilliant solution to their current dilemma: sign up for cheerleading camp and spend the summer surrounded by gorgeous women. But head cheerleader Carly (Sarah Roemer) can see right through them, and when Shawn falls head over heels for her, their genius plan hits an unexpected hitch. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Can't Hardly Wait
After the Huntington Hills High graduation ceremony, the fun gets underway at the graduation party where an assortment of jocks, geeks, prom queens, bimbos, headbangers, and nerdy misfits unload four years' worth of emotional baggage at a house where the hostess (Michelle Brookhurst) loses control of her guests. Writer wannabe Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) has been in love with Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt of Party of Five) since the first time he saw her during their freshman year. His tormented infatuation with Amanda has intensified throughout high school and culminates at the party, where Preston must now seize this final opportunity to proclaim his love for her before he leaves the next day for Boston. Preston decides to make his move at some point during the party, a particularly auspicious occasion since Amanda has just been dumped by her super-jock boyfriend, Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli), who wanted freedom to pursue his testosterone-charged fantasies with college women. Cringing at this ludicrous love triangle is Preston's introverted pal and confidante, Denise Fleming (Lauren Ambrose). When Denise runs into her ex-childhood friend Kenny (Seth Green), the two begin sexual experimentation behind the closed bathroom door. Geeky science-fiction fan William Lichter (Charlie Korsmo) devises a plan to ruin Mike's stud reputation and publicly humiliate him and his meathead buddies -- sweet revenge for four years of agony. Former Huntington Hills graduate Trip McNieley (Jerry O'Connell) tells Mike about the terror awaiting in college where "Guys like us are a dime a dozen." Yearbook Girl (Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) wants everyone to sign her cherished volume of memories as the partying teens attempt to move into the uncertain future. Party house exteriors were shot on Rubio Street in Altadena, California, and other California locations included Johnnie's Broiler in downtown Downey, Dutton's Book Store in Reseda, Marshall High School in Los Feliz, and Union Station in LA. With more than 70 speaking parts, this film is the directorial debut of the scriptwriting team of Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

Loser
After making Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and Clueless (1995), two of the definitive films about the joys and terrors of American high school, writer/director Amy Heckerling moves on to college with this bittersweet romantic comedy. Paul Tannek (Jason Biggs) is a bright but socially inept college freshman who has just arrived at NYU from the Midwest. Frumpy and studious, Paul has trouble meeting people, doesn't get along with his roommates, and most of his fellow students hardly acknowledge his existence. But Paul finds a soul mate in Dora Diamond (Mena Suvari), who has even more problems than he does: she's out of money, has nowhere to live, works a humiliating job as a waitress at a strip club, and has become involved with one of her professors, Edward Alcott (Greg Kinnear), whose callous treatment hardly boosts her shaky self-esteem. Dora gives Paul some advice on how to fit in with his roommates, and Paul lets her stay with him while she looks for work; when he becomes infatuated with her, he has to figure out how to win her away from Edward. Loser marked a reunion for Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, who starred together in the hit teen comedy American Pie. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Excess Baggage
In this combination caper comedy and offbeat romance, Emily (Alicia Silverstone) is a wealthy but petulant young woman desperate to get the attention of her millionaire father, Alexander Hope (Jack Thompson). In fact, she's so desperate that she decides to stage her own kidnapping; she sends a ransom note, ties herself up, and locks herself in the trunk of her BMW, waiting for daddy to come to the rescue; however, Emily's timing is a bit off, because ten minutes later, hunky car thief Vincent (Benicio del Toro) steals the BMW with Emily still in it. Vincent and his partner in crime, Greg (Harry Connick Jr.), eventually discover the car's trunk has an unexpected surprise. When Emily is unable to convince them to help her with her scheme, she becomes a problem the carjackers can't get rid of, especially after Alexander refuses to pay her ransom, and his creepy right-hand man, Raymond (Christopher Walken), heads out to find her. Of course, losing 200,000 dollars in mob money is not making Vincent's life any easier, nor is having the emotionally problematic Emily fall in love with him. Excess Baggage was the first feature from Alicia Silverstone's production company First Kiss. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Dancer, Texas Pop. 81
Small-town America is the key setting for this tale of four West Texas high-school pals who vowed to leave their tiny town after graduation and head for L.A. Keller (Breckin Meyer) is ready to walk, but his goals are formless. Wealthy Terrell Lee Lusk (Peter Facinelli) knows his parents (Patricia Wettig, Michael O'Neill) want him to work in their family oil business. Squirrel (Ethan Embry), who lives with his alcoholic father in a rundown trailer, should find escape easy, but he finds reasons to stay, as does John Hemphill (Eddie Mills), a young man more suited for life as a rancher. Leaving was something the quartet dreamed about since age 11, but the actual departure requires ripping up some roots. Will they do it? Director Tim McCanlies shot this film in 25 days at Fort Davis, Texas. Shown at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival (Austin, Texas). ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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