This week concludes high school month, which is somewhat bittersweet. Largely because we don’t have a theme for next month, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Don’t worry—we’ll do some research BEFORE making our minds up unlike some, ahem, recent decisions internationally (sorry, Christa, I’ll cool it with the political asides).
Dazed and Confused
Where to Watch:
You’re on your own
Teens celebrate the beginning of the summer of ’76 with the timeless American traditions of beating people up, driving pick-up trucks, and smoking weed. A lot of weed.
The Uncondensed Version:
This is about teenagers, so of course everyone’s big concern is what they will be doing tonight, the first night of summer. Will it be another night of hanging with the guys, going to the big party, finding some weed, or just sort of being an asshole for no reason? Yes.
But that’s not really the point of this film so much as taking a snapshot of what it was like to be in high school in the ‘70s. Fortunately, remembering all of the characters’ names also not really the point.
You have your jocks, of course, as in every high school movie. Half of them, including Ben Affleck with the most ‘70s hair in existence, spend the bulk of this film chasing around freshmen and spanking them with a paddle (not a euphemism). We also follow the freshmen Ben Affleck torments, who continuously outsmart him and manage to make a pretty great night of it.
On the other end of the jock spectrum is some dude whose name as a character and as an actor I don’t remember. Whoever he is, he’s the last holdout on this new policy—all sports ball players must sign an agreement not to smoke a lot of weed, amongst other nefarious activities. This guy is just one hair’s breadth away from becoming a conscientious objector as he is extremely reluctant to sign the agreement. Which is pretty admirable, TBH, especially when you consider how many papers I sign without actually reading them.
Anyway, so school ends and the freshman hazing begins. This means getting the shit beaten out of you if you’re a dude, and for some reason sitting in the back of a pick-up truck with a pacifier if you’re a girl? Whatever, I didn’t make the rules. The girls also have to lie on the ground while the upperclassmen pour ketchup, mustard, flour, eggs, etc. on them. My biggest takeaway from this movie is that kids are mean fuckers (I could’ve told you that for free, man).
Yet another part of the hazing involves the freshman girls proposing marriage to various guys, one of whom has sort of a blonde John Lennon vibe. If that even makes sense. I know there’s only a 3-4 year age gap at most, but he looks SO much older than this freshman girl. But I’ll try to be more open-minded. (No, I won’t.)
This, of course, is all before Matthew McConaughey and his signature “Alright alright alright”s show up. I feel like 50% of people watch this movie solely for the alrights, so I’ll wrap it up here.
I just didn’t really get this one honestly, though I confess I wasn’t paying the most attention ever because I was also catching up with GoT this weekend.
But beyond that, I wonder if this is a kind of “You had to be there” thing? I have no particular objections to being a teenager in the ‘70s, but if everyone was that much of an asshole, I’m really glad I wasn’t. My general feelings of not giving a fuck about high school and not so much pausing for a backward glance probably don’t contribute in a positive sort of way.
I just felt kind of “eh” about this one and wanted to kick a lot of these kids in the shins.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads