This slice of post-high school life circa 1960 is one of the more boring films I’ve ever seen. In fact, had the music not been so much fun, I would have nodded off much earlier than I did. Yet there was something incredibly familiar about Steve and Kurt (Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfus, respectively) and their struggle with what they thought should happen after high school. This familiar feeling also tied into the mind numbing boredom I felt as I watched. And then I realized what it was:
My own small town high school life.
When I was thrust into the social scene of Great Falls, Montana, the best time to be had was cruising Central Ave, which ran through downtown Great Falls, right to the Missouri River. While I only went “cruising” a couple times, it was just as boring to do as it was to watch for an hour and 52 minutes. Actually, I hit the 90 minute mark and fast forwarded through the rest to see the resolution of the stories.
I should have known not to expect great things the minute the opening credits revealed who wrote the screenplay. The mastermind that brought us Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III penned “American Graffiti.” That was my first clue that I was not going to be blown away. Georgie should stick to special effects, producing and directing. Leave the writing to, well, anyone else.