Some Kind of Wonderful [1987]

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Lea Thompson, Craig Sheffer, John Ashton
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 95 minutes

After dominating the teen-movie genre for the bulk of the 1980s, writer-producer (and sometimes director) John Hughes proved that he had at least one good movie left in him before squandering his talent on lame comedies throughout the 1990s. Like The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful treated its teenaged characters like real people with real feelings, hopes, fears, and desire. Mary Stuart Masterson gives a great performance as a tomboy drummer named Watts who's secretly in love with her best friend, Keith (Eric Stoltz), an aspiring artist who is oblivious to her affection because he's got a crush on Amanda (Lea Thompson), the popular high school beauty. Watts will even go so far as to chauffeur a date for Keith and Amanda, if only to prove--after a lot of patient, emotional anguish--that she's better for Keith than Amanda could ever be. The movie's drama comes from Keith's gradual realization that there's more to love than surface attraction, and Hughes gets extra mileage out of the romantic confusion by allowing Thompson's character to be more than a shallow campus cutie. All three of the leads are good fits in their roles, and this was one of the few teen films of the '80s to add genuine depth to its mainstream appeal. It's one of the few John Hughes movies to stand the test of time. --Jeff Shannon

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