License to Drive [1988]

The brief 1980s mania surrounding "the Coreys" peaked with License to Drive, a modest but surprisingly still enjoyable adventure comedy. Les (Corey Haim, Lucas) has a chance to date his dream girl, Mercedes (Heather Graham, Boogie Nights, in her first significant movie role)--but he's just failed his driving exam. Motivated by a mixture of pride and hormones, he steals his grandfather's Cadillac and heads out on the town with Mercedes for a night that swiftly becomes an escalating series of disasters, made worse by the foolhardy antics of Les' best friend Dean (Corey Feldman, Stand by Me). Despite some egregious '80s fashion disasters (Graham gets the worst of them), License to Drive holds up surprisingly well--it's no work of genius, but it is a solidly made and entertaining teen comedy that's more coherent than most. The depiction of parent-teen relations is fairly honest and particularly well-played by Richard Masur (Risky Business) and Carol Kane (In the Soup) as the parents. The DVD includes a very funny and rambunctious audio commentary track by the screenwriter and director, as well as interviews with the grown-up Coreys. A must-have for fans of '80s nostalgia. --Bret Fetzer

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