License to Drive

Posted: July 2, 2018 in Movies
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So I hadn’t seen 1987’s License to Drive. That’s nuts cause I’m a big fan of not just 80’s comedies but Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. I have The Lost Boys to thank for that. Watching this movie was bittersweet as I’d worked it out in my head that had the producers of The Lost Boys pushed for a sequel in the film’s prime it would have probably hit around the same time License to Drive hit movie theatres. I guess the good news is that it’s out there and it’s always cool seeing these two actors working together.

The film is directed by Greg Beeman, who is known more now for his TV work, and focuses on young Les (Haim) who is out to SMASH his driving test. See Les can’t drive but all the cool kids can. He wants to impress the girl of his dreams – Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham) – and ya know cause it’s the 80’s and Ameircan pop culture a brand new car is going to sweep Mercedes off her feet. Sadly for Les things do not go to plan. He fails his theory test! Nigthmare! Well not if he can help it. After a chance encounter with Mercedes a date is arranaged and Les is willing to do anything to keep it. Even if that means lying about having a valid drivers license.

That’s all there is to this film and well that’s not a bad thing if the plot beats and the characters are all on point but (I hate to say it) that’s not the case. License to Drive isn’t a bad film but it’s not what I’d call a classic of the decade either. Sorry if that offends anyone. For me anyway it is not on the same level as the likes of The Lost Boys, Weird Science or Sixteen Candles. That later movie being a great example of a film with a simple plot but is totally entertaining thanks to its characters and great writing. This film’s screenplay just wasn’t there I don’t think or to be more clear it just wasn’t as strong as those other standouts.

Where the film does prove to be a fun watch is – coming as a shock to nobody – the chemistry between Haim and Feldman, and I should say Haim most of all. As Les he is a likeable enough kid, who despite being just a bit irresponsible, you want to see him not get caught out by his folks or the cops and get the gal. Feldman and Michael Manasseri provide support as Dean and Charles who are Les’s loyal buddies. Always there to offer bad advice and make matters worse for their friend! Graham does good with what she’s got to work with but really she would go on to show how much an acomplished acrtress she was later in her career.

All said I didn’t mind License to Drive I just did not love it. It’s okay for what it is. It’s just I couldn’t help shake the feeling the film was going for this Adventures in Babysitting/John Hughes kind of movie vibe that it never quite managed to pull off. But look, if you like the actors in this or are easy to please ( I don’t mean that as an insult! I’m easy to please!) when it comes to 80’s teen movies then you’ll no doubt have a okay time with this movie. I did. It’s fun, has some scenes you’d only get away with in the 80’s and has a likeable cast. I guess it just wasn’t as great as I’d expected but still worth a watch.

 

 

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