American Graffiti: Pop music and good characters make for a night of fun

3 out of 5 stars (average)

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Note:  This was part of my “Making of A Movie Geek” project from when I was 15 years old.  Please click the link to read up on this project.  Modern Thoughts: I don’t know why I enjoyed American Graffiti as much as I did when I originally wrote this review.  Upon rewatching it, I found the characters boring and underdeveloped, the pacing glacial, and the soundtrack distracting rather than immersive.  My rating today would be 2.4 out of 5 (almost decent).  Enjoy the review!

Having seen Dazed and Confused the night before, it was refreshing to see a comedy about high school students not involving massive amounts of drugs and alcohol. Both films had great music, although they came from different time periods. I think I would have been an Elvis fan if I’d been a teen in the 50’s because this made me want to dance.  Once again we see that in the movies one night can change one’s perspective on life.

Curt (played by Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve (Ron Howard) are trying to figure out what to do and how to get out of their “roles” from high school. It’s graduation night and everyone is just hanging out driving their Fords and Chevys. Steve doesn’t need his car for the night so he loans it to the Nerd (Charles Martin Smith). The nerd is totally overjoyed by this and ends up getting a pretty girl.

Curt sees a blond bombshell driving around a T-Bird in the beginning of the movie and pursues her relentlessly all night, only to find out she’s a prostitute or something and that was downright funny to me. The film has likable characters. The 1950’s and 60’s seemed like a nicer time. From my perspective, it was a very funny movie about good teenagers.

This film was directed by George Lucas and he has done a fine job here. It’s not perfect, but American Graffiti is just entertaining enough to be viewable. I recommend this for anyone who likes old-timey music or who fondly remembers the 50’s.

Rated PG for Language, Sensuality, Brief Rear Nudity and Teen Smoking/Alcohol Use.  Would likely be PG-13 now.


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