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All I Wanna Do

4.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


When Odette (Gaby Hoffman) gets kicked out of her coed school for plotting to lose her virginity (All I Wanna Do is set in 1963), her parents send her to Miss Godard's Preparatory School, an all-girls school that tries to instill independence in its students. Her roommates turn out to be the school's troublemakers--Verena (Kirsten Dunst), Tinka (Monica Keena), and their friends Tweety (Heather Matarazzo) and Momo (Merritt Weaver). Though Odette initially resists (not because she wants to stick to the rules, but because she hates the whole school so much she won't even join the rebels), she gradually becomes part of the rambunctious circle. Due to financial trouble, the school's trustees decide to merge with a nearby boys' academy, despite the furious protests of Miss Godard's headmistress (Lynn Redgrave). Verena echoes the headmistress's sentiments and launches an offensive of pranks to discredit the visiting boys, even though the struggle splits apart her own social group. Though All I Wanna Do is being marketed as a goofy romp, it walks a line between a coming-of-age comedy and a young feminist manifesto (as one might imagine from the movie's previous title, Strike!). It's a tricky combination, but writer-director Sarah Kernochan succeeds--she also wrote Impromptu, which similarly mixed tart yet sympathetic humor with subtle political commentary. The direction is tight and the script allows its heroines a surprising complexity. The cast of rising young stars, also featuring Rachael Leigh Cook, is superb throughout. Strongly recommended. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Lynn Redgrave, Gaby Hoffmann, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tom Guiry
  • Directors: Sarah Kernochan
  • Writers: Sarah Kernochan
  • Producers: Alan Nevins, Andras Hamori, Clara George, Ira Deutchman, Liz Murray
  • Format: Subtitled, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TJRQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,849 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All I Wanna Do" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on March 26, 2002
Format: DVD
ALL I WANNA DO (which is also known as THE HAIRY BIRD) is a loving and hilarious look at the swinging 60's, featuring an impressive script and direction by Sarah Kernochan and a capable, strong cast.
Odette (Gaby Hoffmann) has just been shipped to Conneticut and Miss Godard's School for Girls. Run by the kindly Miss McVane (Lynn Redgrave - GODS AND MONSTERS) the school is a sanctuary for the girls who will have to take a second place to men when they eventually have to leave and go into the real world.
Odette falls into the outsiders group known as the Daughters of the American Ravioli - trouble-making Verena (Kirsten Dunst), brainy Momo (Merritt Wever), sex-hungry Tinka (Monica Keena) and the almost-pathelogical Tweety (Heather Matarazzo).
When Tweety accidentally discovers the plan to merge Miss Godard's with a neighboring boy's college, they put a huge and potentially dangerous plan into action to get rid of the "hairy bird"...
A clever and canny comedy filled with superb performances. Standouts in the cast include the wonderful Heather Matarazzo and the fantastic Monica Keena. The film also features Rachael Leigh Cook and Rosemary Dunsmore (ANNE OF AVONLEA).
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Format: DVD
Most teen comedies nowadays are so mindless, unfunny, and unrealistic that they aren't even worth watching. Although this movie is pure "chick flick", it's nothing like today's teen-sex comedies starring Chad Michael Murray, Lindsay Lohan, and Hilary Duff.

"All I Wanna Do", set in the early sixties, tells the story of Odette Sinclair, who is sent to an all-girls boarding school after her parents discover her plans to have sex with her boyfriend. Though reluctant at first, Odette befriends the school's biggest troublemakers, Verena, Tinka, Tweety, and Momo. They have their share of adventures with the boys, their classmates, and their teachers. But the girls aren't prissy--they're smart, sassy, funny, and ambitious, and when they find out that their school is merging with an all-boys academy, they pull off their biggest heist yet.

The acting in "All I Wanna Do" is brilliant; the writing is smart, funny, and filled with political humor of the 60s; the characters are real; and, the movie is funny, sexy, and memorable. It's a level above the standard teen-sex romps, more mature but still fun for younger and older teens. You can watch it again and again over the years and find something new with each viewing--"All I Wanna Do" is definitely worth your time.
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Format: VHS Tape
Interestingly, this movie takes place the same year that Betty Friedan wrote "The Feminine Mystique".
It begins in early 1963 when one Odette Sinclair, played by a rebellious but very charismatic Gaby Hoffman, is taken from her home in Michigan, horse in tow, to the Miss Godard's School for Girls in Connecticut by irate parents after she is caught planning a tryst with her boyfriend, Dennis (a still-slightly boyish Matthew Lawrence).
At first, she resents the change of atmosphere. But the solemn, tremulous girl soon finds companionship with a group of girls, who, although they can be antagonistic, encourage her to find other aspirations beyond having sex with her boyfriend. These include her two luminescent blonde roomates, the sexually mature Tinka,whose favorite colors to wear when she's out of uniform are red and black, and the ever-scheming Verena, deftly played by Monica Keena and Kirsten Dunst respectively.
Heather Matarazzo's bulimic Tweety is a rather weak-willed character, and Merrit Wever's Momo is strong and smart. Together, these girls form a secret organization called The Daughters of the American Ravioli, in which they pledge to help each other acheive their goals. One of the more immediate ones is to rid the school of their lecherous teacher Mr. Dewey, to whom his portrayer, Robert Bockstael, gives such understated underhandedness. At a time when sex crimes against students at the hands of teachers may have been underreported due to the fact that the teachers most likely would have gotten off, this makes an interesting subplot.
But 1963 was the beginning of the modern feminist movement, and these girls take matters into their own hands after the Board of Trustees threatens to merge the school with the St.
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Format: VHS Tape
I had been looking forward to this film since August 1998 when I saw a little blurb about it in a teen magazine. I couldn't wait to see it in theaters. Unfortunately, it never arrived in theaters here in Portland, and I didn't get to see it until just recently, on video. I guess waiting that long made me have unrealistic expectations for this movie. I thought it would be the best movie EVER or something. It's not . . . but it's still pretty good. "All I Wanna Do" is the story of a group of girls at a prep school who try to keep the school from going co-ed. Heather Matarazzo and Rachel Leigh Cook are both hilarious in this film, and Kirsten Dunst shines, as usual. There's some sexual innuendo in here that probably isn't appropriate for anyone under 13, hence the PG-13 rating. And the movie is free of action, suspense, or really a lot of plot. Still, the film's young actors and actresses save the film and make it watchable and worthwhile. Some parts are funny, some will make you think. Not a bad movie at all.
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