Runtime 100 minutes
Released March 28, 1986
Synopsis: A socially inept fourteen year old experiences heartbreak for the first time when his two best friends — Cappie, an older-brother figure, and Maggie, the new girl with whom he is in love — fall for each other. – imdb
Last time I had seen this? Never
What I knew about this movie before watching it Very little. I knew football was involved somehow. If you listened to the episode of The Forgotten Filmcast, of which I was a guest, Todd picked this film in the Movie Recommendations portion of the podcast. Todd won me over on this one. The cast alone got me very interested in checking this out.
Summary: Lucas, played by Corey Haim, is an intelligent and nerdy high school student. During the summer he meets the new girl in town, Maggie, played by Kerri Green (Andy from The Goonies). Of course, he has an instant crush on her. Despite his awkwardness, Maggie is nice to Lucas, and they hang out the rest of the summer. Lucas shares his love of bugs – especially the locusts which are out now, and won’t come back for another seventeen years. Lucas and Maggie became good friends.
Then the school year begins, as does the bullying. Lucas is teased and tormented by most of the kids, especially the football team. He does have a couple of friends, though – his best friend Ben (Ciro Poppiti) and Rina, played by Winona Ryder in her feature film debut, who has a big crush on the clueless Lucas.
It turns out that Lucas has another unexpected ally in a star of the football team, Cappie, played by Charlie Sheen. This was made evident when Lucas has an altercation with the lead bully, Bruno (Tom Hodges), and Cappie steps in to protect Lucas.
Unfortunately for Lucas, Cappie catches the eye of Maggie. Much to the chagrin of Lucas and Cappie’s girlfriend, Alise (Courtney Thorne-Smith), Maggie joins the cheerleading squad to get closer to Cappie. Lucas begins to irritate Maggie with his whining, and telling her how superficial cheerleading is. And he really got on her nerves when he told Cappie that they were going to the upcoming dance together, and that they can double-date.
Then, on the night of the dance Lucas, all dressed up in a tux, goes to Maggie’s. He finds Cappie there with her, and Cappie was upset. It turns out that Alise dumped him, and he went to Maggie’s for comfort. So, instead of the dance, they were going to go out for pizza. They invited Lucas to come along, but he was too pissed off to go. So, he sits by the lake overlooking the dance. Rina goes and sits with him. Even though she has strong feelings for Lucas, she tries console him about Maggie. Afterwards, Lucas happens upon Maggie and Cappie in the pizza place parking lot, and witnesses their first kiss.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Lucas decides to join the football team in order to impress Maggie, and get respect from his schoolmates. He is really tiny compared to the rest of the football team. Instead of becoming respected, the bullying intensified. But, Lucas is tenacious, and hangs in there.
Since there is football in this movie, according to film protocol, there needs to be a “big game”. The coach is already annoyed that Lucas is on the team. So the persistent Lucas, trying to get into the game, drives the coach even more crazy. Does Lucas make it in the game? If so, how does he do? I won’t spoil anything here, so you’ll have to check it out.
Does the movie stand the test of time? Definitely! Bullying still exists. And of course anybody from every generation remembers their first crush, and first heartbreak. And the spirit of never giving up still sends a positive message.
Worth the Return? Yes! The cast alone makes it worth watching. Corey Haim is so good in this. It’s so sad that he’s no longer with us. What a talent he was! This was also Winona Ryder’s first movie. She was outstanding in the few scenes in which she appeared. You can see how she would become a big star.
This was a fun and emotional movie. And it is always great to see an ’80s high school movie.
Rating: 5 Locusts
Have you seen this movie before? What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave comments and your own review.