"Some Kind of Wonderful" (1987)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Rom-Com, Teen
Directed By: Howard Deutch
Written By: John Hughes
In Theatres: Feb 27, 1987  Wide
Runtime: 93 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz), an artsy high school outcast, tries to land a date with popular girl Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson) with some help from his tomboy best friend, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). However, his advances draw the ire of Amanda's snobby ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), who makes plans to get even.

I actually enjoyed this movie a lot. I wasn’t expecting to as much given that the plot in all honesty is fairly predictable. It’s your typical 80s teen rom-com really. But the characters are good. And the soundtrack is good. And the story is cute.

Eric Stoltz is good in the lead role as Keith. I haven’t seen him in anything else. I don’t think he’s particularly funny, but he’s sweet and suitably sensitive for the part. Lea Thompson is great as Amanda as well. I liked her character, she was popular, had the cliché overbearing pompous boyfriend, and was intricately into her looks and fashion and what have you, but she wasn’t up herself and had a good heart from the beginning, she didn’t have to “be shown the ‘error’ in her ways”, it was always there. I liked Watts as a character as well. She was a little clichéd but she was likable just the same. I’ve never seen Mary Stuart Masterson in anything before this either.
Funnily enough, my favourite character was the school bully, Duncan played by Elias Koteas. I thought he brought humour to the film. He’s a lovable character. Maybe even possessing slightly more depth than the other characters. Certainly, more interesting. The detention scene shared with him and Keith was quite funny. I liked that even though he started out wanting to hunt Keith down (as 80s teen bullies tend to do) but after getting to know him he really looked out for him and even looked up to him a bit. It was sweet. 

 I’ll warn you now I’m about to go on a bit of a rant…So for those who haven’t seen the film, I better warn you of SPOILERS ALERT!

The ending!! I loved this movie, I really thought we were heading towards something not clichéd, not predicted, and something a bit more unconventional – until we got to the ending. Throughout the film Watts had a problem with Keith pursuing Amanda. From the way she dressed, acted and warded off every single guy who made a pass at her, I was full sure it was because she secretly fancied Amanda herself. I was full sure this was going to turn into her realising she liked women and was either half in the know and just coming to terms with the idea herself, or just in denial. I mean – there was even a scene where Watts goggles at Amanda half naked in the dressing room. I felt like had this been the way the story went, it would have been a very nice twist from the typical and clichéd best-friend-secretly-loves-boy-who’s-just-her-friend, or vice versa. The ending, it actually annoyed me because I was so sure in my predictions. It would have been so different and made this film, to use a pun, some(thing) kind of wonderful. I’m actually really disappointed. Oh well. The ending we have, however clichéd, is fine too, I guess.  

I really like this movie. I think I had my expectations too high and was disappointed by my imagined-conclusion not coming to pass, but that aside, I would recommend this film. 

Final Rating: 2/5 Stars