You know the quote. You likely know it was actor Matthew McConaughey that said it. But do you know anything about the film behind it all, aside from the title?
“Dazed and Confused” is quintessential 90s movie viewing. Following the exploits of junior high and high school kids on the last day of school in May, 1976, this flick gave a ton of today’s stars their start. Really, it’s a who’s who—McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Renée Zellweger, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey, etc. Go watch it.
We’re shocked at how many 20-somethings we’ve talked to that haven’t seen this delight. It’s an easy sell: A live-action retelling of “Peter Pan” with Dustin Hoffman as Capt. Hook and Robin Williams as “The Pan.” Yes, Robin Williams as Peter. HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE WATCHED ROBIN WILLIAMS AS PETER PAN??!! What have you been doing with your life? Go fix your oversight. Now.
Throwing it back further, this is an absolute classic—a true archetype of the high school comedy “coming of age” story.
There’s so much to talk about here. Written by the masterful Cameron Crowe ( “Say Anything…”, “Jerry Maguire,”“Almost Famous”) and directed by then first-time director Amy Heckerling (writer/director, “Clueless”), you’ve got an Academy Award-winning cast that’s bizarrely fresh-faced. Names you’ll definitely recognize: Sean Penn as amiable stoner “Jeff Spicoli” ordering a pizza to class, Forest Whitaker in a side role as a beast of a HS linebacker, and Nicolas friggin’ Cage—then credited under real name Nicolas Coppola (he’s Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew)—in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it bit part.
Shifting gears for a sec, here’s a lesser known one: 2000’s “High Fidelity.” The film follows record store owner, Rob (John Cusack), as he “breaks the 4th wall” to speak to the audience and countdown his Top 5 all-time breakups. This one’s a thoughtful comedy offering some great “deep cut” musical selections, a bit ‘o drama, and the vintage talents of Jack Black in one of his earlier movie roles.
This one may seem like it’s going to be a kid’s tale, or a romance, but it isn’t exactly either of those things. What it is, though, is perfect.
OK, that may be a slight oversell, but this is legitimately one of this writer’s all-time favorite movies. Taking the title role in her film debut is Robin Wright, whom you’ll recognize as First Lady Claire Underwood from Netflix’s “House of Cards.” A young Fred Savage plays “The Grandson,” while Billy Crystal makes a guest appearance as “Miracle Max.” All in all, this one’s got adventure, comedy, and just the right amount of romance. Guys, if you want a date movie that your girl will find adorable, trust us: this is it.