Unsung Movies: "Some Kind of Wonderful"

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Wednesday, August 06, 2008
When people talk about the teen movies of John Hughes (as producer, writer, and/or director), they usually talk about Sixteen Candles and/or The Breakfast Club and/or Pretty in Pink and/or Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Shockingly absent in conversations about his oeuvre is 1987's Some Kind of Wonderful—I'm not sure that it can really be considered "unsung," but it definitely is in comparison to those other films.

Sure, it's got all your typical teen flick cliches and it treads much of the same ground as Hughes's more lauded movies, but Some Kind of Wonderful (produced and written by Hughes and directed by Howard Deutsch) affected me more deeply than any of his other work. Could it be the nerdy charm and simple dreams of Eric Stoltz's working-class, high-school loser? Could it be the vibrant, tomboyish Mary Stuart Masterson who harbors a secret crush on her best friend, Stolz? Could it be that Lea Thompson's exile from her circle of friends is kind of heartbreaking? Maybe it's because of the unforgettable kissing scene in the garage. Maybe it's because of the wild abandon that Stolz sinks into his date with one of the most popular girls in school. Maybe it's because it contains one of the most romantic endings ever. Maybe it's all these things.

Do you love this movie as much as I do? Please do:

And let's not forget that almost flawless alt-rock soundtrack, which includes Lick the Tins' terrifically re-imagined cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" and Stephen Duffy's wildly romantic "She Loves Me":

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  1. Peter Varvel Said,

    I have always loved this movie and the character Watts, although she was always suspiciously dykey to me. Maybe she was really a gay boy on the inside.


  2. I think she WAS a dyke. But Eric Stoltz's hot kiss killed the lesbian within.


  3. LAP Said,

    So many things I love, not least of all strong performances all around. I think Craig Sheffer (who I'd met being an extra on Then Again Maybe I Won't-filmed in Mpls) made a great bad guy, and that it was far easier for me to root for a coveralls wearing Eric Stolz than it had been to root for Andie in Pretty and Pink. But it's mostly because coveralls on cute boys are so, so totally hot. An avid fan of soul music at the time, I also though this was Hughes's best title so far. Not to mention the skinhead character manages to be that magical Hughes hybrid of pure cartoon and actual voice of the audience.


  4. Laura, you know, it was a Hughes love story where you had a GUY you could root for. That made all the difference for me. Yes, yes, I know I was supposed to identify more with Molly Ringwald, but I didn't. Nothing against her. But when I grew up, I didn't want to be her. I much rather wanted to be Eric Stolz.


  5. I am so glad you like this movie. It was right up there with 16 Candles, Breakfast Club and *sigh* yeah, had a sizeable crush on Stoltz. If I had to compare my life to anyone during that time, besides Duckie...I would be Watts minus the lesbo vibe.


  6. Watts was cool then, and, by today's standards, she would still be cool. Super cool. Love.


  7. Annie Said,

    Favorite Hughes movie of all time. I had a huge crush on Watts, and just imagined that despite the super romantic ending, she and Keith would eventually figure out they're both "that way" and go back to being best buds.

    Or maybe I just wanted Watts to be gay. So much so I eventually married a chick drummer. Hmmm...


  8. Annie, yay! The more I think of it, the more I think Watts just swung both ways. I mean, a tomboy's a tomboy, but she went above and beyond the tomboy call of duty. Maybe hooking up with Eric Stolz was her way of getting to Miss Amanda Jones?


  9. Annie Said,

    Down and down she goes...


  10. Quin Browne Said,

    i am currently downloading this... at 2.5kb a minute, my estimated completion time is 225 days.

    it had better be worth it, jack.


  11. That will be 225 well-spent days.

    "Miss Amanda Jo-oh-oh-ohnes...."


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