Cameron Crowe, then a freelance writer for Rolling Stone magazine, went undercover as a student at Clairemont High School in San Diego, CA to write a book (of the same name). Fast Times was adapted from the novel which is about a group of teens struggling with sex, love, and the future. In Fast Times we get to see a cast of young stars already in the making– Sean Penn (who totally stole the film, and birthed an army of Spicoli wannabes in high schools across the country), Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. There are also early appearances by relative unknowns at the time who would go on to major stardom– Nicolas Cage, (then Nicolas Coppola), Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, and Anthony (Goose) Edwards.

Fast Times’ soundtrack was groundbreaking, featuring a mix of ’70s & ’80s rock & roll artists, that to me, will forever be connected with the film. I mean, who can hear Moving in Stereo by The Cars without instantly thinking of that hot, hormone-raging pool scene? Jackson Browne’s Somebody’s Baby is used as the theme song to Stacy’s (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh) misadventures with the opposite sex. The song first appears as Stacy loses her virginity. Most of the soundtrack from this movie also triggers flashbacks to scenes whenever I hear them.

1982’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High is a generational favorite for people of my age. It comes to mind often, even 34 years after it was made. When I think of oral sex and movies that left an early imprint with me, it always comes back to the Phoebe Cates “Carrot Scene”. It seems to have permanently embedded itself in my psyche and the psyches of most of my generational peers. If you’re of this era it’s definitely a film that still resonates and makes you want to throw on your Vans, hit the arcade, grab some tasty waves, and meet some babes.

* This blog was updated on September 6, 2022 to remove or update links and information.

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