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Can't Hardly Wait (10 Year Reunion Edition) Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 October 2008
ImageMix a less raunchy version of "American Pie" with "Secret Admirer" and you get a charming teen comedy, "Can't Hardly Wait."  The movie is not particularly original.  In fact it is down right cliché-ish.  Still, it is witty and engaging.  The plot is full of fairly intricate details that tie every one of the characters together.

Even after she became a teen scream queen sensation in "I Know What You Did Last Summer," Jennifer Love Hewitt is able to retain that wholesome, innocent girl look and attitude.  Despite the teen comedy genre, Hewitt's character is pleasing, even though it is not well developed.

Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) is a hopeless romantic high-school student.  For four years he has been obsessing and crushing on the most popular in school, who turns out not to be the stereotypical airhead.  The object of his obsession -- Amanda Beckett (Hewitt).  And, after waiting for years, she finally breaks up with the typical jock boyfriend.  Preston decides it is finally time to confess his love to Amanda.  Taking every thing in site as a sign of fate, Preston scours the post-graduation party for Amanda.

Meanwhile, "Everyone is a lemming" Denise (Lauren Ambrose) gets stuck in a bathroom with "I'm a white gangster" Kenny Fischer (Seth Green).  Their night tonight is electrifying. The class nerd, William Lichter (Charlie Korsmo) develops and evil plan to trap Amanda's ex-boyfriend, Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli) in a homosexual situation in order to exact his revenge.

Mike Dexter and his groupies decide the best thing to do is to break up with their girlfriends before college.  Mike is the only one dumb enough to go through with it, ending up alone.  Amanda, finally gets the courage to stand up to Dexter, and rejects taking him back.  Instead, she attempts to hunt down the boy who wrote her a love letter.  Aaaahhhh.  How sweet.  Unfortunately, after four years, she has no idea who Preston Meyers is.  It takes looking in a yearbook to find out what he looks like.  Sadly, she told him off and crushed his heart without knowing him.

Preston gets some odd, but relevant advice from an Angel stripper (Jenna Elfman) and Barry Manilow.  This gives him the courage to confront Amanda.  But you'll have to watch the film to find out what happens.  Although, I'm pretty sure you can guess how the film ends.

"Can't Hardly Wait" is full of silly humor and dumb high-school students celebrating a turning point in their lives.  But don't expect a masterpiece of teen comedy from this film.

The video is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encode.  Sony has done a terrific job restoring this film for its 10 Year Reunion Edition.  There is not much in the video that is really demanding.  The cinematography is normal, and a bit boring.  The black levels and contrast are accurate.  Colors are vibrant, but not to extent where the images are popping off the screen.  Fleshtones are stable and embody and even spectrum.  Some softness appears plagues the image throughout the film, but somehow the details still remain strong.  The image definitely does not have any appearance of artifacting or edge enhancement.  There is a slight layer of grain present that adds a pleasing texture.

The audio quality is extremely good, especially for at teen comedy.  Presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1, the audio track offers surprisingly good dynamics for a simple comedy.  The best part of the audio track is the great use of surrounds.  The opening sequence has voices distributed across all the channels.  The movement is fantastic.  It is quite pleasing to hear discrete effects placed in a surround channel with not much else going on.  It really gives you the opportunity to hear your speakers standalone.  The dialogue is clean.  It is a little thin, but never difficult to hear.  You won't find a deep LFE channel, but it is present enough to add a full sound to the music and effects.

The Blu-ray is loaded with special features in this 10-year reunion edition.  The disc contains the original audio commentary track with the filmmakers and the cast.  It also contains a new audio commentary with the same filmmakers and cast, now 10 years later.  There are a number of deleted and extended scenes.  There are three featurettes: "Huntington Hills High Class of '98 Reunion," "'Can't Hardly Wait:' The Making of a Teen Classic," and "The Life of the Party."  These featurettes are entertaining and fairly informative.  There is an interesting trivia track, "You Know You're '90s if…."  There are a couple of other features including a music video and "Special K's 411 track Yo'."

"Can't Hardly Wait" is great comedy fun.  It may not appeal to the Generation Xers.  However, Generation Y will find it right up their alley.  There are some many scenes in this film that trigger some very fond and painful memories.  The Blu-ray video is decent, but the audio quality shines brightly.  Recommended for the nostalgic value.

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