In the pantheon of high school movies there are the great, the terrible, the epic, and the epically tragic… And then there are the legends. Movies that take you to the promised land of beer and laughs (third star to the right and straight on till boning). Can’t Hardly Wait is a flawless coming-of-age tale about Juliet and her Bromeo. Except less death and betrayal and more sweet 90’s tunes with a side of swag. And. It. Is. LEGEND.
Can’t Hardly Wait follows Preston Myers’ geekishly-debonaire-nice-guy-extraordinaire (Ethan Embry) as forces converge on a graduation night party and his mission to find and confess his undying erection, I mean love, for a recently single popular-princess-with-a-heart-of-gold, Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Enter ex-boyfriends, second cousins, random foreign exchange students, and faulty bathroom doors, mix well and serve with a side of shenanigans in this quintessential boy-next-door Don Quixote tale of great expectations. Will Preston win the girl of his dreams? Will Amanda find a guy in love with her for all the right reasons? Will parachute pants ever make a comeback?
Can’t Hardly Wait came out in 1998 and sixteen years later it’s still witty, relevant and highly watchable (unlike some more current teen franchise flicks *cough* Twilight *cough*) without anything other than a great cast, sharp dialogue, and a soundtrack that’s hands-down one of the best cinema scores I’ve ever heard, matching and enhancing every moment in the film, and practically becoming it’s own character. This coming-of-age flick takes every character from the barely-there cameos: Jason Segel’s off-the-wall Stoner to Chris Owen’s blip-on-the-radar, quietly hilarious Klepto to Melissa Joan Hart’s manic-yet-possessed-with-school-spirit Yearbook Girl and rounds out the main cast, making sure that not even a second is wasted in this epic ode to the teenage Odyssey. Much like The Hasselhoff face-fucking a cheeseburger totally hammered on the bathroom floor, Can’t Hardly Wait is an experience that’ll stick with you.
In addition to not being able to swing a dead hooker without hitting a before-they-were-famous cameo, the level of satire within the parodies of the stereotypes in Can’t Hardly Wait was beyond Kate Upton, I mean Jennifer Lawrence, I mean perfection. This quintessential teen flick is what happens when genius meets opportunity and shits flawless execution down a majestic poop shute of talent. It’s the all-red-and-pink Starbursts of cinema, the nothing-but-purple-and-red Skittles of film.
The ensemble cast was charming and engaging and yes, the shenanigans were mostly predictable, but with characters this magnetic, and hilarious, and relatable, not only am I buying a ticket on this ride, I’m booking motherfucking first class. Can’t Hardly Wait is a must-have, must-own for the cult-classic connoisseur. If you’ve never seen it, watch it, and if you don’t own it, please raise your hand so I can get a headcount of everyone I’ll need to slap upside the head for later. This is the perfect date (or anytime) movie, watch it with your bros, watch it with your hos, or even just watch it with Juan your weird gardener with halitosis and boundary issues; just fucking watch it.
Can’t Hardly Wait is the girl who’s an angel in the streets and a devil in the sheets. Two coming-of-age teen flick nips way, way up.
Take a Drink: for every Facebook profile stats page.
Do a Shot: whenever there’s a flashback, voiceover, or “remember when” story told.
Take a Drink: for each guy that hits on Amanda/appearance by the Yearbook Girl.
Take a Sip: whenever Kenny gets “wangsta” and/or Denise says something bitchtastic.
Take a Drink: anytime you hear “I am a sex machine!” or “Would you like to touch my penis?” or “Fate.”
Take a Sip: every time you catch a “before they were famous” cameo.
Shotgun a Beer: for train station nookie