Starring: Ethan Embry, Charlie Korsmo, Jennifer Love Hewitt
Director: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
Running Time: 101 mins
Can’t Hardly Wait is an American film about a group of high schoolers who let loose at a party on the night of their graduation, where old scores are settled and old loves are revealed.
It’s easy to look at high school movies from the late ’90s and early ’00s and just lump them all together in the same plastic, raunchy box. Can’t Hardly Wait, however, is one of the few from the era which actually delivers entertainment of a higher order, with a blend of typically juvenile humour and rather touching emotion, clever characterisation and great performances across the board.
But while this is certainly one of the stronger high school movies of the American Pie era, that doesn’t mean Can’t Hardly Wait isn’t prepared to have fun. Throughout, the film is an absolute delight, with fast-paced humour that put a big grin on my face.
So, if you’re looking for a teen movie that will definitely deliver laughs, then Can’t Hardly Wait is a great bet. However, while comedy is one of its biggest strengths, the film also really stands out from the crowd thanks to its really rather charming screenplay, following the ups and downs of a variety of high school personalities over one crazy night.
You’ve seen all these characters before: the jock, the nerd, the prom queen, the social outcasts and the innocent lovestruck lead, but Can’t Hardly Wait manages to take all of those classic genre personalities and craft a cleverly-interweaving story that makes them all seem a little more human.
Taking place at a high school graduation party, this movie goes beyond the high school popularity ladder, with the gloves coming off for all on their last night together, making for some fantastically funny, awkward and touching moments.
With the stories of each and every character at some point bumping into one another, the movie tells a genuinely captivating story that combines the delightful nostalgia of high school graduation with personal and intimate storytelling, never focusing too heavily on one main character, but giving everybody good time to breathe.
As a result, Can’t Hardly Wait genuinely is one of the best high school movies from the era of teen cinema. Funny, charming and full of great characters and performances from across the board, the film proves a delightful watch from start to finish. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.