Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I have finally seen the 1982 movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".

You're probably wondering about the 'finally' part of that statement. I've wanted to see that movie for a long time. Probably about 21 years...

You see, in 1986 I had a minor obsession with guitar playing rock goddess Nancy Wilson of the band Heart. Perhaps it was more than minor. Well, I was 15 and Heart were briefly one of the greatest rock bands of the moment. The self-titled Heart album from 1985 is the pure essence of 1985 - if you want to know what rock music in 1985 was, that's the album to listen to. All power ballads, power chords, big hair and emotive vocals. Actually, I still think its a great album. But anyway. In 1986 I discovered that Nancy Wilson had a 'starring' part in this movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I desperately wanted to see that movie.

But in 1986 things were a bit different to how they are today. No, no downloads, and (most importantly) in my house, no VCR! Add to this the fact that no video store in Edinburgh had the movie (Virgin could order it in for £25 - which was a lot of money in those days) and you see why I never saw it. By the time I actually owned a VCR my Nancy obsession had diminished and so I never tried to get it then.

But it was on Film 4 last week. So I watched it.

No, it wasn't worth 21 years of waiting. To add insult to injury it turns out that Nancy's 'starring' role lasts less than a minute and she doesn't even speak! Khah!

The film ticks all the boxes of the early 80s 'bawdy teen sex comedy' genre, without actually being particularly bawdy, sexy or comedic. And as usual in American movies, the high school 'teens' are mostly twenty-somethings.

But while it wasn't particularly funny, it was still quite watchable. The cliched characters all seemed actually to be reasonably real people and you were interested in what happened to them. There were some genuinely touching moments in there too, which I wasn't really expecting. But there wasn't actually too much of a plot. About 75 minutes in I found myself wondering when the real story was going to begin.

So it was OK, but not worth the wait.

So here's a clip of Nancy Wilson in her 1985 prime...

Don't believe the video, Nancy does all the singing here not Ann, her darker haired sister.

And here's the other single from the 80s with Nancy on lead vocals. Erm, I have no idea what they thought they were doing in this video...

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