It must be a drag to be a slave to the male sex drive.
Keith Nelson, much to everyone else's surprise, lands a date with Amanda Jones, the most popular girl in school. But with Amanda comes trouble in the form of the ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns. A rich spoilt egotistical bully, Jenns plans to get back at Keith violently. While things are further complicated by the fact that Keith's best friend Watts is hopelessly in love with him, something that Keith is oblivious too. All roads, rocky or otherwise, are leading to one house party where lives are about to be changed.
Released a year after Pretty In Pink, writer John Hughes further cemented his status as the king of teenage angst with this funny, charming and entertaining picture. Following a similar formula to that used in Pretty In Pink, Some Kind Of Wonderful deals not only in young love thematics, but also in opposites breaking down barriers, bullies and the spectre of parental pressure. Keith (Eric Stoltz) is from humble working class stock, the idea of dating the more affluent Amanda (Lea Thompson) would seem idiotic at best. The characters may move in different circles, but Hughes, as is his want, thrusts the issue to the front whilst dangling little strands in the background. Time is given to the father (an impressive John Ashton) and son axis, where career pressure is raised. And the delightful old chestnut of fitting in at school, or not as the case may be as regards Watts (a tremendous and sensual Mary Stuart Masterton) is also putting in an appearance.
It's often forgotten in Hughes "angsty" films, that they aren't merely love stories for the young and restless. They are all encompassing pieces that hold up better than ever on revisits today. Yes there is pandering to certain expectations, and yes the endings never veer away from a tried and trusted method. But Hughes knew what worked for him and his audience. That he never attempted to insult us (them) with sledgehammer tactics, or trick of the twist dallying, is really rather refreshing when viewing them today. Some Kind Of Wonderful is quite simply a wonderful film, with great comedy (check out the fabulous Elias Koteas) and a banging soundtrack, it ranks as one of the finest efforts crafted from the pen of a very fine writer. 9/10
***Working class boy, rich dream girl and faithful tomboy friend in Southern Cal***
Keith (Eric Stoltz) is a high school senior in Los Angeles wherein he fights with his little sister (Maddie Corman) and is pestered by his dad about going to college. He works at a gas station and his best friend is a tomboy, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), but he has his eyes set on a dream girl, Amanda (Lea Thompson). Craig Sheffer plays the rich stud nemesis, Hardy.
Writer John Hughes was known for those mid-80’s high school films, like “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink” and “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” Unsuccessful when it was released in 1987, “Some Kind of Wonderful” ended his foray in the genre and he would go on to popular comedies with John Candy and Chevy Chase.
This movie is interesting in that it includes elements of “Pretty in Pink” (1986) and, indeed, features the ending that was intended for that movie, which the studio forced him to alter. Hughes even wanted Molly Ringwald for the role of Amanda, but she refused and Hughes took it personally, which ended their working relationship.
It’s about on par with “Pretty in Pink,” but I prefer the cast in this one, plus it’s more heartwarming. I’d watch it any day over the overrated “Breakfast Club,” yet it has its issues. For instance, some scenes have the same sense of unreality that marred “Pink” and Stoltz strikes me as too confident, charismatic and good-looking for the role of a guy that is rudely ignored by the popular girls. This would’ve never happened at my school, working class or not.
The movie runs 1 hour, 35 minutes, and was shot in Los Angeles.