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CAN'T HARDLY WAIT

SYNOPSIS:
School’s out, and no self-respecting final year student would miss the de rigueur post-graduation party. The time has come to drink beer and get laid! Aspiring writer Preston (Ethan Embry) has more romantic notions, however, particularly now that rumour suggests super-jock/stud Mike (Peter Facinelli) has dumped prom-queen Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Preston has always felt that Amanda and he were destined to be together - - after all they both like the same variety of pop art. But he’s leaving town the next day, so the party provides the last chance for him to make his move.

"This is one of those American teen comedies that seems curiously out of place as we approach a new century, a film straight out of the eighties with little relevance to contemporary adolescence. It's a kind of teen Animal House meets The Breakfast Club, a film filled to the rafters with such a stereotypical menagerie of ill-assorted adolescents, that character development is sporadic at best. The film does attempt to have something to say about the roles of Fate in dictating our lives, and the old adage, be yourself, is loosely explored, but overall, the film is something of a mess. When the film discards the noisy party animal scenario, it settles down as a story of two interesting couples, and these subplots gives the film a partial charm. There is a comic energy running through the movie, and some sharp uses of editing, but somehow, while there's plenty of charm, there's plenty of silliness. Performances vary from competent to delightful, and in the latter category falls Lauren Ambrose, who gives a wonderfully empathetic performance as the reserved Denise. Jennifer Love Hewitt is rather one-dimensional as the pretty prom queen, while Seth Green is amusing as a wanna be cool guy who probably wishes he were Black. The soundtrack is richly diverse and a main selling point."
Paul Fischer

"Let’s see, I think I’ll have a No.12: Hormone charged high-school graduates, post-pubescent lust, saccharin-coated teen angst, lots of beer swilling and a dash of alluring cleavage; all wrapped in a long, long pointless parteee ... oh, and go easy on the plot. Can’t Hardly Wait? or Can Hardly Stay Awake? Yes, it’s summertime in the U.S.A., and here come the teen formula-flicks with all the subtlety and sophistication of a fast-food hamburger. Can’t Hardly Wait is full of characters from the stereotype assembly-line; there’s the Jock, the Girlfriend, the Guy-Who-Wants-The-Girlfriend and the Girl-Whose-Party-It-Is. Inevitably, the lack of character delineation is matched only by the lack of physical imperfections among the cast’s many nubile nymphets. More like an extended video-clip than a movie, the film staggers to the rhythm of an incoherent pop soundtrack. Even such anachronisms as Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’ and Dire Straits’ ‘Romeo and Juliet’ get a run - - on the premise that Embry’s leading protagonist, Preston, is ‘fated’ to be romantically entwined with Hewitt’s prom-queen, Amanda; ‘Mandy’ becomes Preston’s muse, while ‘R&J’ subliminally reinforces the ‘star-crossed lovers’ theme. Behold the sub-text! As for the cast, Peter Facinelli delivers a meagre young Tom Cruise impersonation as the jock, Embry looks so dazed he should have played one of the party’s doped-up hippies, and Hewitt struts her perky, quirky cuteness with appropriate vacuity."
Brad Green

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

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CAN’T HARDLY WAIT (M)
(US)

CAST: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green, Michelle Brookhurst, Alexander Martin, Erik Palladino

DIRECTOR: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont

PRODUCER: Jenno Toping,Betty Thomas

SCRIPT: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Lloyd Ahern

EDITOR: Michael Jablow

MUSIC: David Kitay, Matthew Sweet

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Marcia Hinds-Johnson

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 17, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: March 23, 1999
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar







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