"Can't Buy Me Love" (1987)

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Directed By: Steve Rash
Written By: Michael Swerdlick, Wayne Rice
Released: August 14th, 1987
Runtime: 94 minutes
Studio: Buena Vista Pictures

Nerdy high schooler Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) rescues cheerleader Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson) from parental punishment after she accidentally destroys her mother's designer clothes. Ronald agrees to pay for the $1,000 outfit on one condition: that she will act as though they're a couple for an entire month. As the days pass, however, Cindy grows fond of Ronald, making him popular. But when Ronald's former best friend gets left behind, he realizes that social success isn't everything.

I didn’t enjoy it at the beginning but as it went on, the more I got into it. I was skeptical because the plotline is very predictable. As is the case for all these movies though, right? It’s like a teen/school version of Romeo and Juliet actually. We’ve got these two characters who come from different worlds, they like each other a lot, but because of their different backgrounds they think they can’t be together. 

The twist here is – the popular girl does in fact fall for the wanna-be-popular-geek fairly early on in the film. At least, this was a little twist for me as I wasn’t expecting it. To be honest I thought it would be the other way around.

I do feel like the characters are somewhat underdeveloped. We’ve scratched the surface for the purpose of escalating the plot, but for me there was something extra missing that has been there in other rom-coms.

That being said, it’s clear to see that Patrick Dempsey’s character is an ass. He’s dumb and ironically cocky. – Not your typical “geek” or great leading love-interest. He seems to be like Jake from Sixteen Candles – he’s not as moral and wonderful as people make him out to be looking back on the movie. I hated Jake’s character on Sixteen Candles. At least here our leading man sort of comes through in my opinion. He realises what an ass he’s been for most of the film. Jake never did. And suffice to say, never will. 

As for our leading lady – well, she’s not the most exciting one in movie history but she’s not bad. She has her moments. She would be one of the more forgettable aspects, but at least she maintains her moral standing. I’m not entirely sure how much her character develops because she always had a sense of how obscure popularity was.
You gotta love when he sweeps her off her feet on a lawn mower though. That’s original. You won’t see that in another movie I’m sure!!

If you enjoy rom-coms you’ll love this. If you enjoy 80s movies you’ll enjoy this. And it’s got a good soundtrack to boot. So final verdict? A little underwhelming but still entertaining.