on October 22, 2002
This 80's John Hughes gem wasn't as popular as some of his other movies (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Pretty In Pink), which is a shame because it's every bit as good as those flicks, if not better. The plot of Pretty In Pink is sort of rehashed here: a teen from the poor side of town (Eric Stoltz subbing for Molly Ringwald), has got eyes for a popular teen (Lea Thompson subbing for Andrew McCarthy), and has a free-thinkin', seemingly gay best friend of the opposite gender (Mary Stuart Masterson subbing for Jon Cryer) that winds up being the person they should end up with. There's even the token jerk that causes problems for everyone (Craig Sheffer subbing for James Spader.)
The original ending of Pretty In Pink was changed after test audiences said they would rather Molly Ringwald's character end up with Andrew McCarthy's, instead of Jon Cryer's. (Wrong! At least in my opinion.) They got it right in "Some Kind Of Wonderful." What a great 80's teen flick this is! Not too sappy, not too dramatic- everything gets balanced out with little drops of humor here and there. Candace Cameron is hilarious in every one of her scenes (check her out as Eric Stoltz's younger sister before she wound up on TV's migraine headache inducing "Full House"); so is Maddie Corman who plays the middle sister. (She later ended up on Margaret Cho's short lived "All American Girl" sitcom and was in another GREAT 80's teen flick called "Seven Minutes in Heaven" which also starred Jennifer Connelly.)
If you love this movie, or are a fan of the John Hughes genre, you should also check out the "Some Kind Of Wonderful" soundtrack. It's every bit as GREAT as the "Pretty In Pink" soundtrack. The opening credits sequence music from "Some Kind Of Wonderful" ("Abuse" by Propaganda) is not on the cd, but is available on Propaganda's "Wishful Thinking" cd.
The only issue I have with this DVD is the same issue I have with a lot of other Paramount DVD's: no extra goodies. No trailer, no outtakes, no deleted scenes, no commentary. That is disappointing, but it's still great to have this on DVD finally.
on April 3, 2006
This was the most memorable line in the whole movie... when the tom girl in love with her best guy friend tells the popular girl to watch out! Hmmm... this should have been a signal that she was a keeper. The 80's was really captured in this movie and it signals the genres theme of teenage turmoil in a greedy decade. I'm glad the best friends ended up together. Sometimes it's true that our feelings run deep and we have no idea until a rival comes along.
1987's Some Kind Of Wonderful is a gender-revised version of 1986's Pretty In Pink. Eric Stoltz takes the place of Molly Ringwald and Lea Thompson & Mary Stuart Masterson do the same for Andrew McCarthy & Jon Cryer. Mr. Stoltz plays Keith a loner, artistic type who works at a garage and whose best friend is a tom girl, drummer Watts played by Ms. Masterson. Keith pines after Amanda Jones (Ms. Thompson), one of the most popular girls in school. Amanda dates the spoiled rich boy Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer) and after they fight, Keith swoops in and asks Amanda for a date, to which she agrees. Keith finds out that the whole date is just a setup to get him to Jenns' house so he can beat him up, he still continues with the date. He sets an elaborate evening, dinner at a fancy restaurant, art museum after hours and a set of diamond earrings. It turns out that Amanda isn't some spoiled rich girl, but a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who sold herself out for popularity. All the while, Watts is secretly in love with Keith and in the end after a showdown at Jenns' house where he is exposed as a chicken and fraud, Keith realizes his true feelings for Watts and they kiss. The movie is filled with nice performances by the three leads, but it is the supporting players that give the best performances. John Ashton is perfectly gruff and pushing as Keith's dad, Maddie Corman is the classic, annoying younger sister, but Elias Koteas steals the show as Duncan, the school thug who befriends Keith. Mr. Koteas throws out some classic lines. This was the last film John Hughes would write or director in the classic 80's teen angst vein. The soundtrack to the film is excellent, featuring no name bands like Flesh For Lulu, The Licking Tins and Furniture and it captures the essence of the films.
on October 16, 2002
John Hughes (here as producer) has always put together some films about teenagers that made them filled with interesting traits, true feelings and genuine situations. Though this film is a bit far-fetched, it has the best characters (tomboy, skinhead, nerd, popular girl in school, rich fool). I've loved Mary Stuart Masterson since this film, and have made an attempt to see everything she's done since. Lea Thompson had the hardest part, trying to be cool and "real" at the same time. Eric Stoltz was never better looking, truly handsome, belying his previous role in "Mask" and future independent film projects, as well as carrying the lead role with genuine confidence. Elias Koteas is a real delight as Duncan, the skinhead; later he was in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" as a romantic lead, and the great Terrence Malick used him to excellent advantage in "The Thin Red Line". This film really marks the beginning of many fine film careers. The use of current popular music in all of Hughes' films has always added to their appeal, as well as good writing. This was a little more brutal than "16 Candles", but it hit all the right nerves. Also, as a middle-aged baby boomer, the emotions involved, I must say, are as relevent now as then. It was also a pleasure to see John Ashton ("Beverly Hills Cop") as the dad; he plays the bewildered authority figure very well. The DVD release offers an excellent transfer of the film (1.85:1 LBX) as well as great sound. A true feel-good film, this is real entertainment and I wish there were more like it.
on October 20, 2005
I first saw this movie on TV as a college student. I loved it so much that an old boyfriend went out and bought it for me on VHS tape. I have watched this movie so many times I'm surprised the VHS tape is still working!
The actors are perfectly cast in the leads. They are so believeable in their portrayals that I could have gone to high school with them. The kissing scene is HOT. Clothes don't need to come off for you to feel the hot wind of chemistry and passion that blows off that first kiss scene.
The characters are not glossy, and that is what I love about John Hughes. He portrays coming-of-age in all its naked and truest glory, not the perfect airbrushed schlock that has come out in later years.
If you're looking to see character development and great plot set to a great soundtrack, this is your type of movie.
A definite teen classic. Before teen movies became lustful sexfests like "American Pie," Generation X-ers had a handful of teen epics that could be related to. It's definitely a feel-good movie and the acting is wonderful. As cheesy as some scenes might be, the overall effect overcomes the cheese-meter.
An introspective artist, a pretty rich girl and a smart-mouthed tom-boy look for love in all the wrong places until the end. Petty people become deep, true loves find one another... not exactly reality, but a great flick none-the-less. Perhaps it's nostalgia that puts this film in my personal 5-star category, but when I watch it as a full-fledged adult, I'm not looking back and thinking, "boy was this flick stupid... I can't believe I liked it." Instead, I feel like I'm seeing it again for the first time. It's easy to get emotionally involved with these teens whose parents don't quite get the idea (as hard as some of them might try) of what's going on in their kids' lives.
Reminiscent of "Pretty in Pink", all things work out in the end. This film didn't do as well in theaters as it could have because of the unconventional (read: weird) trailers that advertised the film. You just see bluejeans and a drummer hitting drums... I basically saw this film only because Eric Stoltz was in it... but I ended up adoring the film in spite of the cheesy trailer that promised nothing of substance. Gen-Y folks might find this a bit too bubble-gum, but if you're in your early 30s to late 20s and you haven't seen this film, it's your duty to see it. :-)
If you're a bit younger, give it a try. It may not be as "sophisticated" as films seem to be today, but it was right on target when it was released.
For parents, this film is safe to show to young teens. There is no nudity or sexual inuendo. There is a kissing scene that might cause you to have to fan yourself, but it's a kiss and not heavy petting or anything. There is language, but not above or beyond what can be heard on "NYPD Blue." The film shows the values in true friendships, self-sacrifice, and true love based on sacrifice - not on sex, beauty or money. Relationships between parents and their children and between siblings is also explored in the film. Because of this, it actually has an underlying moral theme that is so lacking in films targeted to teens today.
on September 17, 2002
Sometimes a movie you saw in the past creeps up out of your psyche, and all of a sudden you can't get it out of your head. This was one of those movies for me. I saw this movie on VHS on it's original (tape) release over 10 years ago, and again when the Laserdisc was released years later. Now, on DVD, you get an excellent transfer and pristine movie theater sound quality.
John Hughes was made famous for capturing teen angst in a way that identified with most teenagers of the period. I think "Some Kind of Wonderful" Hughes is at his best with a realistic story about dealing with love, friendship, and peer popularity. There are famous faces that sneek into this character roles that are great fun to watch. But it's the romantic triangle that keeps the story moving until the end.
I'd definitely recommend this movie for those looking for a romantic comedy that makes you think and reminisce about your youth in the 80s. For those already in their teens, you may find this period of fashion and attitude interesting to watch and compare against the current high school scene.
on April 1, 2004
What is it that makes the 80's so special? It is almost like these beautiful years are the ultimate result of youth fighting through a rapidly changing world where things speed up, and where fighting for independance, emotions and love has become an art. Nothing captures this art better than movies. And there are few who can do this as great as John Hughes.
Yes, ofcourse the 80's are my youthful years and everyone romances his youth, but I am certain that the 60's, 70's were great years, and the 80's is the sum of all that.
Some kind of wonderful takes you right into the 80's rollercoaster with the cool drum scene opening of Mary Steward Masterson , the typical interactions between the teenagers and the punk and wave influences apparent in the clothing. Also the social groups becom clear. The punk-wave guy, the pretty popular girl, the alternative girl, the average normal neighbour boy (Stolz), the spoiled popular macho bratt, etc.
This combination was even enlarged in the best 80's picture ever, the breakfast club. It beautifully captures the different social groups on a highschool.
Some kind of wonderful, makes you happy, gives you that warm, first love feeling in which you would wrap yourself in as in a warm blanket. Just like the breakfast club, secret admirer, pretty in pink or st. Elmo's fire....it's makes you feel young....like the teenager you are of the 80's
on August 29, 2002
I love this movie.It is my absolute favorite from 1987-88. It made me a lifelong fan of the wonderful Mary Stuart Masterson and fans of Lea Thompson and Eric Stoltz too. Read the other reviews to see how good this movie is. However, the DVD was not what I hoped. It is wide screen but does not appear to be anamorphic. The color is good but not great, same for the picture and sound quality. However, for a DVD with a list price of $$$$ you expect SOME extras but you get absolutely nothing! No trailer, no deleted scenes, no making of feature, no director commentary no Easter Eggs No NOTHING! ZIP. NADA.This DVD is an improvement over the tape and LD versions I had before but could have been so much more. ... I give the movie five stars but the DVD only two with three stars overall. LW
on December 9, 1999
In the wake of all of the hype surrounding the "Brat Pack" movies of the 1980's, this bittersweet teen flick gets lost in the fold. True, it is a "John Hughes" film, but it doesn't contain any of those annoying teens who appear and re-appear in so many of the same movies. The best part of this is the young Eric Stoltz. His portrayal of the somewhat shy and very sensitive Keith just makes my heart melt. (Where, oh where, can I find a man like that?) Also, I have to mention the very hilarious Elias Koteas as Keith's skinhead friend. That was definitely a strange role to see him in! Very good film, worth seeing over and over again.