Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Amy Heckerling's 1981 teen classic is imbued with the dark, quasi-sleazy qualities that are representative of the late-'70s, early-'80s pre-John Hughes class of flicks. Judge Reinhold's fall from upbeat senior to downtrodden pirate-suit-wearing fish-and-chips delivery boy is heartbreakingly funny. While Sean Penn's stoned surfer Jeff Spicoli and his in-class pizza delivery remain forever etched in cinema history, it is actually Jennifer Jason Leigh's pre-AIDS-era sexual encounters, laughably brief and oppressively empty, that linger. I still can't hear Jackson Browne's "She's Gotta Be Somebody's Baby" without thinking of one particularly depressing such scene and wanting to pull a Holden Caulfield on every sexual predator on the planet. (R) MICHAEL GIACALONE

Wed., May 12, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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