Keith is best friends with Watts. Watts loves Keith. But Keith loves Amanda. In the world of the John Hughes 80s rom-com/coming of age story, this is familiar territory. Though, similar to "Pretty In Pink", John Hughes didn't direct "Some Kind Of Wonderful". He wrote and produced it. What also ties those films together, is that they were both directed by Howard Deutch. (Deutch would go on to have a hat trick with "The Great Outdoors" one year later)
What makes Deutch's first two films relevant here is that, I've mentioned in previous reviews, that I've long been on the look-out for the pre-Prom Night suit-up scene ritual. I thought for sure I would have had it with "Pretty In Pink".
I was wrong. (and trust me, I'm still recovering from the shock of that)
But I should have long before thought of the superior John Hughes High School love story "Some Kind Of Wonderful". And sorry, folks, but it is superior. It doesn't get nearly as much love as the Molly Ringwald landmark that is "Pink", but I see the film as far deeper, emotional, and better written. Not to mention, it has the ultimate suit-up scene in it. So why wouldn't it be?
Let me refine that statement: "Some Kind of Wonderful" has the ultimate suit-up for its genre. I'm still positive there's plenty more of these. Shit, it was the 80s. The plot of being the High School outsider, and taking the most popular girl in your class to the Prom -- or in the case of "Some Kind Of Wonderful", to the coolest party -- ran rampant. Yet I'm sure that, even though I can't recall (nor find) more examples, that this one would still trump them.
1) The suit-up scene involves four people. Shit, it contains the entire lead ensemble cast. Even High School villain, played to William Zabka perfection, by Craig Sheffer, has a shot.
2) It's chock full of classic suit-up close-ups. (don't believe me? behold the insane list of screenshots to your right)
3) Thematically and technically, it moves the story forward of Keith's friends from detention setting up the perfect date for him and Amanda at a romantic amphitheater. It also brilliantly mirrors the actions of Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Amanda (Lea Thompson) both getting ready for the night. Two different girls, each with the same goal: To bone Eric Stoltz!!!
4) The final stroke of genius comes in the song choice. The sequence is scored to Mick Jagger's solo hit "Miss Amanda Jones". And what did I just tell you is Lea Thompson's name in the movie? Amanda Jones! Pre-planned by the crafty pen of John Hughes? Or cosmic cinema fate?
(okay, I'm getting lame now)
Tell me I'm not alone in thinking that "Some Kind Of Wonderful" is an undervalued masterpiece of 80s teen coming of age cinema? And tell me this suit-up scene does not rock your pants off your hips and onto your 80s mullet hair-do head.
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