Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, USA, 1982)
As most of our students have grown up with the high school genre movies, it seems necessary to include one. At the time, most critics categorized Fast Times as just another “fluff” movie of the teensploitation 1980’s era. This was a very successful teen movie, and its famous “pool scene” with Phoebe Cates and Sean Penn’s Spicoli character remain highly trafficked Youtube hits. However, Amy Heckerling uses an almost intractable generic formulae to partially subvert it. It rectifies the sexism in American Graffiti by constructing the movie for the female spectator, but within the humor of the genre, the male audience is not alienated. The stereotype is resourcefully varied and extended.