American Graffiti (1973)

American Graffiti
Directed by George Lucas
Written by Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz and George Lucas
(number 271)

This is kinda, the essential movie idolising sixties teens in America right? I looked up how this movie happened and if it led directly into the TV series Happy Days. Francis Ford Coppola challenged George Lucas to write something that’d appeal to mainstream movie audiences while they were filming THX1138. Lucas wrote this movie as a kind of autobiography/recording of how he’d spent his teenage years: cruising in cars to meet girls.

As expected the soundtrack is packed with hits of the fifties and sixties, lots of good stuff.

Unfortunately I’m watching it looking for the queer characters… bad idea. I started shipping just about everyone in couples that were never gonna happy. I was so sure Curt would be gay. He was so into that one teacher, and then he gets the nice man to man chat with the radio DJ.

Tiny baby Harrison Ford! Playing a total jerky idiot but it’s Harrison so that’s something.

Does it make me love the people? I dunno, sorta. I think my favourite characters are Carol and John which is weird because I’m pretty certain that he’s too old and cool for her, and she’s definitely too young to be cruising with him all night. But that said they have a really good vibe between them. Sorta reminds me of that episode in third season Veronica Mars where Logan has to babysit a young teenage girl and they end up getting on. At least there was no danger of romance between those two though.

Bechdel test: Laurie and Peg talk about how Laurie only wants to date Steve… and .. basically no, all women only spoke to men.

Best line:

Steve: why don’t you go kiss a duck?

You got the bitchinest car in the valley! You’ll always be number one, you’re the greatest!

State of Mind: Ultimately this is an early version of Dazed and Confused, but less… grimy. Less nastiness all round, although there is still nastiness. But it’s the same kind of American teenagers on the cusp, messing around and staying up all night, chasing people, making trouble and talking. I… am unsure if this is my kind of movie. I find it pretty dull all round. I guess the drag race was pretty interesting, bit rough on baby Harrison’s car.

Overall it’s a bit chunk of nostaligia for an era well and truly gone. It has almost nothing to do with me except I guess this movie had an impact on teen culture and on movies that came after it. I don’t particularly care, tbh. Also what the crap is with the bleak in the end credits with two of the main dudes dying? Bleeeeeaaaak.

Watched movie count

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