- Movie Rating -

The Wild Life (1984)

| September 28, 1984

I was not the world’s biggest fan of Fast Times at Ridgemont High but having seen its spiritual sequel, The Wild Life, I am fairly certain that it may be due for a revisit.  This movie, from the same writer/director is one of those crude sex comedies that fails at being sexy or funny.  It’s crude, hateful, witless and treats its character’s slacker nonsense as some kind of profound wisdom.  Needless to say the women in their lives are just portals, tools for getting laid.  What I am I suppose to say when the ultimate fate of the only interesting female character is that she is thrown into the backseat of the guy’s car so that he can then have sex with her?

Moving beyond the world of high school as depicted in Fastimes, this sort-of sequel deals with the immediate aftermath, that weird summer before college.  We meet Bill (Eric Stoltz) a gawky kid who is split from his girlfriend Anita (Lea Thompson) even though he’s still in love with her.  He thinks that its time he grew up and so he goes out and gets an apartment of his own with a roommate Tom (Chris Penn) a co-worker at the bowling alley.  Tom is one of those tiresome California party animal losers who bleaches his hair, tosses around a lot of annoying buzz words and performs stupid stunts like eating lighted joints.

Any real plot description of this movie is not going to give you any kind of solid information about it because there’s not really anything solid that happens in this movie.  We meet Bill, who is a twerp, his buddy Tom, who is annoying.  We meet Bill’s little brother Jim (Ian Mitchell-Smith) who is obsessed with Vietnam and hangs around with the burned-out vet (Randy Quaid).  Plus, there’s Anita’s friend Eileen (Jenny Wright), the apartment manager Harry (Rick Moranis) and assorted weirdos who treat Bill and Tom’s apartment like a revolving door.

I felt bad watching The Wild Life for the same reason that I dismissed the Porky’s movies.  The characters are mean and unpleasant; they’re hateful to each other and treat the women in their lives like old shoes.  They’re the kinds of people that you instantly want to get away from.  I knew this the moment that two guys ran toward each other and smashed their heads together.  That’s about the level of loving contact here.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy