Can't Hardly Wait (1998) - 10 Year Reunion Edition

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Sony || PG13 - 100 minutes - $19.94 || September 30, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-10-16


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan
Writer(s): Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan (written by)
Cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green


Theatrical Release Date: June 12, 1998


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Original Commentary
  • 10 Years Later Commentary
  • Huntington Hills High Class of '98 Reunion
  • Can't Hardly Wait: The Making of a Teen Classic
  • The Life of the Party
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Fun Facts and Trivia Pop-Up Track
  • Trivia Game
  • Music Video


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese

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.::THE FILM::.

Can’t Hardly Wait is one of my favorite teen comedies, not for the generic story and there isn’t any one performance that stands out. It’s a not a movie that stands the test of time like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club (John Hughes deserves a lifetime achievement award just for those two movies), but CHW is a film I admire for two reasons: 1) Nostalgia – I look back on high school years with bitter sweet memories and a part of me wishes to go back and do things over again; and 2) what writers/directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont did in casting was incredible.

This film features so many recognizable faces and names of actors who, at the time, may not have been established yet. Jennifer Love Hewitt at the time was on “Party of Five” but had not yet become the actress we know from the I Know What You Did Last Summer movies or “Ghost Whisperer”. While her role is important, she actually doesn’t have that much screen time and only maybe 2-3 minutes with the “leading man” played by Ethan Embry. Seth Green’s career has taken off with the cult popularity of the hilarious “Robot Chicken” as well as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the Austin Powers movies. Lauren Ambrose may not be a ‘star’ per se, but she established herself on “Six Feet Under” and Peter Facinelli is, well, that guy who starred on “Fastlane”... Paragraph break for a laundry list of who’s who of names.

But the supporting cast is what is most impressive: Sean Patrick Thomas (TV’s “The District”), Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror), Donald Faison (TV’s “Scrubs”), Jaime Pressly (DOA: Dead or Alive, TV’s “My Name is Earl”), Chris Owen (American Pie movies), Mairsol Nichols (I’ve had a crush on her since she debuted in 1997’s Vegas Vacation), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Clea DuVall (The Grudge), Eric Balfour (TV’s “24”, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake), Selma Blair (Hellboy movies), Jenna Elfman (TV’s “Dharma and Greg”), Melissa Joan Hart (TV’s “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip, TV’s “Robot Chicken”), Jerry O’Connell (Scream 2) and apparently Liv Tyler. Whoo, that’s a lot!

I think it’s more fun to look back on Can’t Hardly Wait, to see these known names and faces, along with a decent teen comedy storyline. As I said, this isn’t a teen comedy great compared to the numerous John Hughes 80s flicks, but it tends to stand on its own at times despite not having key memorable scenes or lines. I know I’ll pull this DVD out every so often. It’s a movie that works because of the cast as even though the two leads with Ethan Embry and Jennifer Love Hewitt don’t really even speak to one another until the third act (and in more depth at the end), the two of them were at least semi-believable. Add to that two funny supporting performances from Seth Green as a wannabe gangsta (or whatever) and Ambrose as the wise ass/kind of anti-social best friend, it’s a movie that keeps the flow from beginning to end.

Can’t believe it’s been 10 years, but Can’t Hardly Wait does at least hold its own and is one of the better teen comedies of the 1990s going into the 21st century.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Original Filmmakers’ & Cast Commentary – The original track that was previously available on the old DVD features writers/directors Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont and Seth Green. The track is actually pretty fun and oddly I never listened to it all the time I’ve had the other DVD...

Filmmakers’ & Cast Commentary – 10 Years Later – Kaplan and Elfont are back along with cast members Seth Green (again), Peter Facinelli, Donald Faison and Joel McMichaely (X-Phile #1). Although more crowded, this too is a good track as they get to look back on the movie, provide memories from the set and give updates on where some of the other cast members have been.

Deleted Scenes (~6:45) – The much talked about lost footage for the crazy drunk girl that for some reason fans were aching to see...

Huntington Hills High Class of ’98 Reunion (26:41) – Awesome featurette that has many cast members, though the female leads (Hewitt, Ambrose) are missing. Participants include Ethan Embry, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green, Freddy Rodriguez (Jock #3), Michelle Brookhurst (“Girl Whose Party It Is”), Joel Michaely (X-Phile #1), Jay Paulson (X-Phile #2), Donal Faison (Drummer), Tamala Jones (Girlfriend #2), Jennifer Lyons (Girlfriend #3), Victor Togunde (Reminiscing Guy), Nicole Bilderback (“Ready to Have Sex Girl”) and Jenna Elfman. Odd that they couldn’t at least get comments from Jennifer Love Hewitt, though...

Can’t Hardly Wait: The Making of a Teen Classic (14:26) – Basically more reminiscing about filming CHW from the participants listed above. Not as interesting as the reunion featurette, but anymore from this group is pretty cool.

Life of the Party (9:28) – Said same people talk about their own party experiences in high school, what makes a party lame or cool and just some more tidbits about their past.

You Know You’re ‘90s If... is a dumb text trivia game where you answer questions to see if you know the 1990s stuff; and Special K’s 411 Track ‘Yo is... something you can completely skip. Basic trivia about anything that pops up on the screen (pop tarts to casting).

And there’s also the music video for the Smash Mouth hit song.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

I didn’t do a comparison with the older release, but I don’t think this was digitally remastered or anything. The picture, though, looks good and for something now a decade old, is decent enough.

Sony gives the disc Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in English, Portuguese and French with Spanish getting the basic Stereo Surround.



.::OVERALL::.

Normally I abhor Sony’s double-dips but this is one that was needed. Now you get to see the actors you’ve come to enjoy 10 years later and get a little more insight into the movie both back then (with the old commentary) and now. Considering I’m a sucker for group commentaries, those two tracks make it well worth buying this DVD even if you own the previous release.