Can't Hardly Wait

Can't Hardly Wait

4.1 9
Director: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan

Cast: Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry


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After the Huntington Hills High graduation ceremony, the fun gets underway at the graduation party where an assortment of jocks, geeks, prom queens, bimbos, headbangers, and nerdy misfits unload four years' worth of emotional baggage at a house where the hostess (Michelle Brookhurst) loses control of her guests. Writer wannabe Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) has been in… See more details below


After the Huntington Hills High graduation ceremony, the fun gets underway at the graduation party where an assortment of jocks, geeks, prom queens, bimbos, headbangers, and nerdy misfits unload four years' worth of emotional baggage at a house where the hostess (Michelle Brookhurst) loses control of her guests. Writer wannabe Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) has been in love with Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt of Party of Five) since the first time he saw her during their freshman year. His tormented infatuation with Amanda has intensified throughout high school and culminates at the party, where Preston must now seize this final opportunity to proclaim his love for her before he leaves the next day for Boston. Preston decides to make his move at some point during the party, a particularly auspicious occasion since Amanda has just been dumped by her super-jock boyfriend, Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli), who wanted freedom to pursue his testosterone-charged fantasies with college women. Cringing at this ludicrous love triangle is Preston's introverted pal and confidante, Denise Fleming (Lauren Ambrose). When Denise runs into her ex-childhood friend Kenny (Seth Green), the two begin sexual experimentation behind the closed bathroom door. Geeky science-fiction fan William Lichter (Charlie Korsmo) devises a plan to ruin Mike's stud reputation and publicly humiliate him and his meathead buddies -- sweet revenge for four years of agony. Former Huntington Hills graduate Trip McNieley (Jerry O'Connell) tells Mike about the terror awaiting in college where "Guys like us are a dime a dozen." Yearbook Girl (Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch) wants everyone to sign her cherished volume of memories as the partying teens attempt to move into the uncertain future. Party house exteriors were shot on Rubio Street in Altadena, California, and other California locations included Johnnie's Broiler in downtown Downey, Dutton's Book Store in Reseda, Marshall High School in Los Feliz, and Union Station in LA. With more than 70 speaking parts, this film is the directorial debut of the scriptwriting team of Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Charlie Brown once said, "Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." For Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry), who's spent four years of high school infatuated with Amanda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) from afar, those words ring agonizingly true. This is the movies, however, where love is permitted to remain unrequited for only so long. Preston's last hope is the Huntington Hills High graduation bash, peopled by the usual assortment of cliques -- jocks, nerds, brown-nosers, etc., all of whom seem to be hell-bent on ruining Preston's final shot at love. Hewitt shows a modicum of range as the prom queen who's finally mustered the courage to break up with her jerky jock boyfriend, Mike Dexter (Peter Facinelli). But the hidden gem here is undeniably Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), in a heartfelt turn as Preston's counsel on matters of romance. As a side note, Can't Hardly Wait appears to have been a fertile casting ground for Six Feet Under, as Freddy Rodriguez, Eric Balfour, and Ambrose all went on to star in HBO's acclaimed funeral parlor drama. Amid the sea of teen comedies released during the late '90s, Can't Hardly Wait stakes its claim as the only one to have a largely unsympathetic protagonist (and actually get away with it); Embry's Preston Meyers is simply too pitiful a character to actually root for. Perhaps Can't Hardly Wait's intended message involves the meek inheriting the earth, in which case Preston is right on track.
All Movie Guide - Adam Goldberg
Just when it seemed that Hollywood had forgotten about teen sex comedies in the vein of Porky's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the aptly titled The Party was created. Most likely inspired by the epic party scenes featured in many John Hughes flicks, screenwriters Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont envisioned an entire movie that occurred during a raging high-school gala. Later retitled Can't Hardly Wait, the film possesses the look and feel of a John Hughes classic, but lacks the heart and three-dimensional characters. The narrative features a wide variety of stock characters including the geeks, the football star, the hip-hop kid, the bitchy girl, and a foreign guy similar to infamous Long Duck Dong. Occasionally, the story strays from the typical sophomoric gags and becomes an amusing exploration of young love in the '90s. Unfortunately, Kaplan and Elfont's script lurches awkwardly from romantic showdowns to deep conversations to bathroom humor. It does manage to become charming when high school clichés aren't tossed about and the characters exist in a more "real" world. Supposedly, the funniest moments of the movie were removed (i.e. a "drunk girl" character) to garner its PG-13 rating. For fans of Jeff Spicolli and Lloyd Dobler, Can't Hardly Wait will be a bit of celluloid nostalgia. But those searching for a real-life, poignant exploration of the high school experience should venture back a decade and watch a film starring Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mill Creek Ent
Region Code:
[Wide Screen, Color]
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Sales rank:

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Love Hewitt Amanda
Ethan Embry Preston
Charlie Korsmo William
Lauren Ambrose Denise
Peter Facinelli Mike
Seth Green Kenny
Michelle Brookhurst girl whose party it is
Alexander Martin Exchange Student
Erik Palladino Cousin Ron
Jerry O'Connell Trip McNieley
Breckin Meyer Lead singer of the band
Jaime Pressly Girlfriend #1 (Beth)
Chris Owen Klepto Kid
Melissa Joan Hart Yearbook Girl (Vicki)
Sara Rue Earth Girl
Selma Blair Girl Mike Hits On #1
Brian Klugman Actor

Technical Credits
Harry Elfont Director,Screenwriter
Deborah Kaplan Director,Screenwriter
Lloyd Ahern Cinematographer
Jan K. Bergstrom Set Decoration/Design
Mark Bridges Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Graves Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Marcia Hinds-Johnson Production Designer
Michael Jablow Editor
Bo Johnson Art Director
David Kirschner Sound/Sound Designer
David Kitay Score Composer
Karen Koch Co-producer
Anne McCarthy Casting
Matthew Sweet Score Composer
Betty Thomas Producer
Jenno Topping Producer
Mary Vernieu Casting

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Can't Hardly Wait
1. Chapter 1 [32:39]
2. Chapter 2 [36:32]
3. Chapter 3 [31:10]

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