Our last week in High School land and no zombies/demons or witches this time, which is always a bit of a shame.
I’m happy with this pick though, going back to the ‘glory days’ of the mid-seventies with Mr Linklater and some of the finest actors of our generation. And Ben Affleck.
(Ohhhhh BURN! I love you really Batfleck).
Without further ado and with *spoilers*…
Dazed & Confused (1993)
IMDB Synopsis: The adventures of high school and junior high students on the last day of school in May 1976.
I didn’t actually start going to school until the early eighties so unforch never did experience school daze in the seventies. They look so freaking good and wholesome. Or were they? Judging by this snapshot of a day-and-night-in-the-life-of, things were pretty brutal, if only for the freshman (men?).
I think we’re to understand that Randall “Pink” Floyd (London) is kind of a big deal, being Captain of the football team and all. He’s going out with Joey Lauren Adam’s Simone and is umming and ahhing about a pledge form the team have just been asked to sign, which promises they’ll stay away from drink and drugs.
I’m pretty sure old Floyd is willing Coach to just let him live but it ain’t happening. This seems to be making Floyd consider what he really wants out of life and being told he should watch the company he keeps isn’t helping his mood.
There’s a big party coming up but first our seniors have some ‘hazing’ to take care of. This is basically just gentle to much rougher teasing to test the mettle of the ‘next generation’.
Freshman girls are called bitches and covered in condiments, while the boys are given a harder time. When one of the crew asks the boys to go easy on her kid brother Mitch (Wiggins), who is due up in the next batch of freshman, she seals his fate and maybe even changes the course of his adolescence forever.
Of course he has to contend with a paddling first (Ben Affleck in particular is eager to serve justice to Mitch, who’s previously managed to outwit him). Once Mitch has taken one for the team, he gets the opportunity to tag along on a night out with Floyd and his cronies.
Led by self-assured Wooderson (McConaughey), a creepy older student who’s stayed back several years, the boys embark on a night of beers, babes and practical jokes. As well as good old fashioned revenge.
Meanwhile, a group of intellectuals join the party, Milla Jovovich says almost nothing, Mike (Adam Goldberg) proves himself in a physical fight, Wooderson says some super creepy things about redheads, Parker Posey is a right cow to everyone and Floyd comes to a decision about his future.
That’s kind of about it.
What will Floyd decide about his future? When will somebody tell Wooderson he’s fucking disgusting and to get a life?
Why’s Ben Affleck such a dick?
I’m so sorry, this is a rather lack luster review and I don’t know why. I enjoyed this movie well enough, as with most Linklater movies, the beauty is in the character study while action is a little on the slow side. I mean, there’s not much more I can say about it, some kids are due to go to a party, the party is busted by a suspicious parent (and a keg delivery guy who can’t follow basic instructions) so they end up living it up in the park.
I guess it’s a bit of a coming of age story, giving Mitch ample airtime as he awkwardly gets to know the older boys, growing over the course of one night from dorky younger to studly ingenue (sort of). I don’t know what that means really but basically the elders realise he’s a pretty good kid and let him stick around.
I don’t care about Floyd and his stupid woes but he seems nice enough, even though he snogs another girl behind his girlfriend’s back. He also sticks up for his ‘loser’ friends at the end, which is one in the eye for the underdogs.
It’s worth a look as all Richard Linklater movies are and, even though this review doesn’t make it seem so, it has a lot of heart and was always going to be a better quality high school movie than most.
Anyone else think the over zealous bottom paddling has a homoerotic undertone? Also, OUCH.
My Rating: 4/5. A not at all bad way to see out our month of high school hijinx. It’s been a blast (ish).