Archive for March, 2010
Can’t Buy Me Love
Posted by will on March 9, 2010
Director: Steve Rash
Runtime: 94 minutes
Plot: Ronald is making an investment in his senior year. He’s hiring the prettiest cheerleader in school to be his girlfriend.
View the Trailer
If I have to admit it, which I freely will, 80′s teenage comedies are one of my guilty movie pleasures. I can’t even begin to count how many times I would sit around and watch Weird Science, Valley Girl, Sixteen Candles, etc. on television (thus rendering the viewing quantity countless … as it seemed some semblance of John Hughes was on every weekend) in my formative years. So, I think I have a pretty good grasp on the 80′s teen rom-com aesthetic.
Can’t Buy Me Love, a riff off the song (I’m guessing), stars a very unrecognizable Patrick Dempsey as Ronald (Donald), who assumes the role of one of the numerous school nerds (there’s always a herd). The crux of the film centers around a deal Ronald makes with head cheerleader, Cindy, when she gets herself in a real pickle (a glass of red wine is haphazardly splashed all over her mothers white suede suit at a party — Zounds!).
When Ronald, who is in the process of using enormous wads of lawn-mower moola to purchase himself a coveted telescope, “spies” Cindy in distress at the local suede suit store at the mall, he decides to invest in her popularity, banking that a one month charade of them as a pair will gain him his long-yearned for popularity at school.
In this type of movie, the thing that stands out most are the outrageous, sometimes grossly exaggerated, sometimes on-the-mark stereotypes each character assumes. Usually they are pushed and prodded to excessive caricatures which in effect, leaves them to be memorable … at the very least. Unfortunately, I felt this movie really missed out here.
The acting, as should be expected, is manic, one of the dance scenes (note, all of the choreography was done by Paula Abdul) features a poor man’s Morris Day and the Time, and the dialogue sometimes tips the unintentional comedy scales (You —- on my door!). On top of that, Seth Green stars as that pesky red-headed stepchild kid brother.
For all of its weaknesses and cornball, Can’t Buy Me Love is ultimately a solid second-rate 80′s high school teenage romedy. You shouldn’t expect anything more (or less). If you enjoy the genre, you’ll probably enjoy the movie. Otherwise, you might want to avoid it like a sack of dog crap on Halloween night.