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Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

is a 1982 American coming-of-age comedy film written by Cameron Crowe , adapted from his 1981 book of the same name. Crowe went undercover at Clairemont High School in San Diego and wrote about his experiences.

The film was directed by Amy Heckerling (in her directorial debut ) and chronicles a school year in the lives of sophomores Stacy Hamilton ( Jennifer Jason Leigh ) and Mark Ratner ( Brian Backer ), and their respective older friends Linda Barrett ( Phoebe Cates ) and Mike Damone ( Robert Romanus ), both of whom believe themselves wiser in the ways of romance than their younger counterparts. The ensemble cast of characters form two subplots with Jeff Spicoli ( Sean Penn ), a stoned surfer , facing off against uptight history teacher Mr. Hand ( Ray Walston ), and Stacy's brother, Brad ( Judge Reinhold ), a senior who works at a series of entry-level jobs in order to pay off his car, and who is pondering ending his relationship with his girlfriend ( Amanda Wyss ), until she dumps him.

In addition to Penn, Reinhold, Cates and Leigh, the film marks early appearances by several actors who later became stars, including Nicolas Cage , Forest Whitaker , Eric Stoltz , and Anthony Edwards . Among these actors, Penn, Cage, and Whitaker would later win the Academy Award for Best Actor , with Penn winning twice.

In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Brad Hamilton is a popular senior who is looking forward to his last year of school and almost has his 1960 Buick LeSabre paid off. He has a part-time job at All-American Burger, where his girlfriend, Lisa, also works. Brad is subsequently fired for losing his temper at an obnoxious customer. When Brad tries to tell Lisa how much he needs her, she says she is breaking up with him to see other guys. Brad quits his job at Captain Hook Fish & Chips because of the humiliation of having to wear a pirate costume when delivering food.

Brad's sister Stacy is a 15-year-old sophomore and also a virgin. Stacy works at a pizza parlor at the mall alongside her outspoken friend, popular and sexually active Linda. One night at work, Stacy takes an order from Ron Johnson, a 26-year-old stereo salesman who asks her out after she tells him she's 19. She then sneaks out to meet him and have sex in a dugout at a softball field. Stacy never hears from Ron again, revealing the loss of her virginity to Linda.

Mike Damone, a dilettante who earns money taking bets and scalping tickets, fancies himself a sagacious and worldly ladies' man. After Mike's friend Mark Ratner proclaims his love for Stacy to him, Mike lets Mark in on his five secrets for picking up girls. Mike later coaxes Mark into taking Stacy on a date to a German restaurant. Afterwards, at her home, Stacy invites Mark into her bedroom, where they look at Stacy's photo album together. They eventually kiss, but he soon shies away and leaves after Stacy attempts to become intimate with him. Stacy invites Damone over after school for a swim in the pool, which leads to them having sex in the pool house. Stacy later informs Damone that she is pregnant, and tells him she's scheduled an abortion. But on the day of her appointment, embarrassed at being unable to raise the money for his half of the bill, Damone ignores her. Stacy asks Brad to drive her to a bowling alley, but she goes to the abortion clinic across the street. When Brad returns, Stacy makes him promise not to tell their parents. When Stacy tells Linda, Linda becomes angry at Damone, leading to an almost physical confrontation between Damone and Mark in the boys' locker room until it is broken up by the gym teacher.

Jeff Spicoli is a surfer and marijuana user who runs afoul of a strict history teacher Mr. Hand, who is intolerant of Spicoli's disregard for his class. One night, Spicoli wrecks Ridgemont star football player Charles Jefferson's 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 during a joyride with Jefferson's younger brother. Spicoli decides to park the car in front of the school with slurs painted on it supposedly written by Ridgemont's rival, Lincoln High. When Ridgemont plays Lincoln, Jefferson is angry about his car, thrashes several of Lincoln's players, and wins the game for Ridgemont. On the evening of the graduation dance, Mr. Hand shows up at Spicoli's house and informs him that since he has wasted eight hours of class time over the past year, Mr. Hand intends to make up for it that night. They have a one-on-one session that lasts until Mr. Hand is satisfied that Spicoli has understood the lesson.

In the end, Mark and Stacy get back together. Brad takes a job at a convenience store and is promoted to manager when he foils a robbery. The fates of some of the other characters are revealed in an epilogue: Spicoli saves Brooke Shields from drowning and then spends the reward money hiring Van Halen to play at his birthday party. Linda gets accepted to UC Riverside and moves in with her Abnormal Psychology professor. Damone gets arrested for scalping Ozzy Osbourne tickets and gets a job at 7-Eleven when he gets out, and Mr. Hand still believes everyone is "on dope".

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