tek's rating:

Can't Hardly Wait (PG-13)
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Okay, the movie is set at a high school graduation party, for the most part. There's a girl, Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who was recently dumped by her dumb jock boyfriend, Mike Dexter. There's a guy named Preston Meyers who's been wanting to go out with her for the past four years, and hopes to finally say something to her (or give her a letter he wrote) at the party, now that she's single. He has a friend named Denise Fleming (Lauren Ambrose). They dated briefly, before high school, and I daresay one gets the sense that there's going to be a cliché here of the "guy chasing the dream girl before finally realizing he should be with his best friend" variety. One thing I definitely want to say about this movie is... surprising things happen. It ain't all quite as clichéd as you might expect.

But let me finish setting the stage. There's a nerd named William Lichter, who hatches a plan with a couple of his friends to take revenge on Mike for picking on them throughout high school. (William was played by Charlie Korsmo, whom I knew from other things when he was a kid, but I didn't recognize him in this.) While his friends stay up on the roof all night waiting for the moment to enact the plan, William is in the party, though his part in the plan goes rather awry. There's a guy named Kenny Fisher (Seth Green), who hangs with a group of white guys who all dress and talk like "homeboys". Kenny just wants to have sex sometime that night, for the first time. He also used to be friends with Denise when they were kids. And then they accidentally get stuck in a bathroom together. And, well, there are plenty of other people at the party, with their own little subplots threading their way throughout the evening.

For a ways into the movie, I thought it was definitely "meh" at best... not all that good. But after awhile... I dunno, some things started getting a bit amusing. Some things got a bit surprising. You know, not shocking or anything, but not quite what I would've expected, so I give the movie credit for that. It definitely ended up being a bit more complicated than it seemed at first, the characters a bit more complex. Still... not a great movie. But not bad, either. It was kinda fun.

Edit: I rewatched this in 2020, many years after I first saw it, and I think I liked it better this time. (Aside from a bit of homophobic humor.) Also I was surprised by how many familiar actors were in it that I didn't remember (or some that I didn't know at all, last time). Jenna Elfman had a decent role as an exotic dancer dressed as an angel, who Preston meets at a gas station or whatever. Melissa Joan Hart played a girl at the party who kept trying to get people to sign her yearbook. Jerry O'Connell played a college guy who has a pivotal conversation with Mike. Donald Faison played a drummer in a band whose lead singer was played by Breckin Meyer (though I don't think the band ever actually played anything at the party, there were just hit songs playing on the stereo or whatever all night long). Jason Segel had a very small role. Selma Blair had a minor role. I noticed Amber Benson in passing at one point; she didn't even speak. And I'm sure there were any number of other actors I've probably seen before, and certainly some who'd be more familiar to other people.


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