Cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Seth Green

Director: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan

Previews Shown: X-Files, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

It seems that since the 1970s, Hollywood has been trying to grasp the growing pains of adolescence on film.  A trend that began innocently enough with American Graffiti, has had its high points (the Hughes movies, Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, and Ferris Bueller in the 80s, and so far only successful 90s attempt in Clueless), and low points (over-the-top w/Porky's, cornball License To Drive, and any movie with the Corey's (save Lost Boys)).  The latest attempt at association falls somewhere towards the lower end of that spectrum. 

Can't Hardly Wait, is not the worst teen movie that I've ever seen, I'm sure it is fairly representative of how adolescents see the world today..but if it is, I am scared.  The story revolves around the usual, geek, in love with a beauty queen, who belongs to the jock.  Nothing we havent seen before.  The performances are pretty cardboard.  Jennifer Love Hewitt (of TV's Party of Five, and the Gortons fisherman slasher flick, I Know What You Did Last Summer) does little acting, she's more window dressing, with cliched scenes of emotion thrown in.  Ethan Embry (from one of my closet favorites, Empire Records, and quite grown up from his obnoxious debut in Dutch) has puppy dog eyes most of the movie as well, and acts very little.

The story is basic, and doesn't deviate much, some interesting situations are presented and dealt with, but nothing earthshattering, however the movie does have an underlying sense of humanity, of reality, to it, that almost makes you empathize with the characters.  Whether it for being stuck in cliche-land, or general concern, you still have a bit of a smile, and twinge, during certain situations, remembering how you felt in their shoes, and how things might just be harder nowadays.

This movie will not bridge the generation gap..heck, it won't even work as an interpreter, but will work as a stepping stone, to slowly help us towards the other side.  The ideas, and intentions were good, but the execution fell just a tad short.  Wait for cable on this one


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