Can’t Buy Me Love

Amanda Peterson

It�s a foggy Saturday morning. I�ve got the day to myself to do whatever I want. Primarily, that�s going to involve reading, writing and panicking, not in that order. Probably some watching in there as well. Last night�s movie was Can�t Buy Me Love, just recently released onto DVD for our nostalgic enjoyment. It�s really a terrible movie. It came out in 1987, well after a host of superior teen-flavored films had come and gone. Yet somehow, we love it, it endures. It remains a cult renter, especially in the college town video store where I spend much of my time. Why does it still work, while, for example Phil Joanou�s 3 O�clock High, which came out that same summer and had a similar high school setting and hangdog, nerdy protagonist (Casey Siemaszko), gets a little fainter with each passing year? I suspect that it�s because in spite of its crudities, it has a warm, beating heart. 3 O�clock High was a dazzling, technically whiz-bang movie, but all its kinetic ferocity was wrapped around a cold interior. To be fair, it was a different kind of film, a sort of common-man driven to extremes by the threat of a real face-pounding film, while CBML was never meant to be more than a Pygmalion-in-reverse sort of thing. Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson are the main reasons the film is so watchable. And Courtney Gains. And Seth Green. And Dennis Dugan�Anyway, it was a fun trip down the proverbial memory lane.

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