Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in 2005 as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” If you’re familiar with Fast Times, you understand why that feels … a little messed up. Sean Penn’s Spicoli is iconic, for example, but sort of hard to defend as a cultural artifact. But if Fast Times is culturally significant, high school is personally significant, the wellspring of a lot of personal issues that never quite feel resolved. It’s a movie about hormones, culture, confusion, bad decisions, and the rollercoaster weight of life changes in high school, but it gets so many of the little details of life at that age so right that it manages to be more than the sum of its parts.
1h 32m / R / Comedy