• Craig Hunter

American Graffiti (1973)

In 1962, a bunch of teenagers spend the final night of summer cruising around the streets of Modesto California.

It's also the final night of their youth, in a way, as each of them has experiences that makes them realize that what they want is not what they thought that they wanted.

This film is like a slice of memory taken from someone who was a teenager in the 60's, which George Lucas--who co-wrote and directed the film--was. The film is semi-autobiographical, although, I'm not sure which character Lucas fancies himself. He gave serious thought to being a race-car driver after high-school but then he wasn't killed by a drunk driver...maybe Lucas sees himself in all of the characters.

Richard Dreyfuss, looking like a poor man's Paul Rudd, is the most interesting and believable character. The other characters are fairly one-dimensional, the geek trying to be cool, the perfect couple, the bad-ass street racer who wants to maintain his image...Dreyfuss is at times nerdy and timid, confident and daring, and always thoughtful and reflective. And Suzanne Somers in the backseat of a white T-Bird serves to remind Curt that there are wonderful things out there but you have to venture out to find them.

Wandering and innocent, George Lucas' best film.

Follow the link for American Graffiti buying options at Amazon.

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