Karl Howman, Caroline Quentin, Daniel Peacock and Gary Olsen
At last I have found one. A British 80's teen movie! This appears to be our sole
contribution to this genre. Luckily it is a good one, although noticeably different
from the American films. It has a lot of the classic elements however. Parties, cool
and uncool people, parents, romance etc. The basic story is this:
It is New Year's Eve and Larry's parents are going to the vicarage dance, leaving Larry in charge of the house. Big mistake. Larry organises a big party in the hope of pulling. His friends also share his enthusiasm. One of his friends (Daniel Peacock) has borrowed his dad's aftershave and is getting chat-up lines from Johnny Reeves (Karl Howman) who is the coolest guy around. Also going to the party are two off-duty policeman, one going for the sole purpose of getting drunk, the other trying to pull the off-duty policewoman who is also going. Then there are the girls. One is going to try and get it together with the policeman who wants the policewoman, and the other is going to try and get it together with anyone. The only problem is when the girl Larry wants to turn up arrives she is engaged and has brought her fioncee with her. She is still up for it though if only she can get away from him for a while. Once the party has started there are numerous chat-up attempts from various people, a fight, a suicide attempt, lots of drinking and then Larry's parents decide to come home early!
This film is brilliant. Although it has a distinctly different feel to it than the American teen movies. It could be because the characters are more easy to relate to, as they are more realistic. All the cliches of going to parties whilst growing up are there. Also the whole film has a very cool eighties British music soundtrack including The Clash, Madness and Altered Images to name a few. There is very little build up in the film. Nearly the entire film is the party which works well as you get to see how it and the characters interaction develops. The only real criticism of the film is that the end seems to be a bit of a cop out. Also with this film one of the things that seems to be treated differently from the American films is drinking. Sure you have drinking in Sixteen Candles and Wierd Science, etc. but not to the same degree. Or as realistically shown, not just the effects but the kids attitude towards it. It could just be the difference betwen British and American kids in general though. Going back to the realism, the house seems fairly realistic as well. It is the sort of size and the area surrounding it are all believable. It is this that helps to relate to the characters, unlike say Sixteen Candles where the house is just too big for the majority of people to have proper empathy.
So in conclusion, if you are British, watch this film as you will love it and recognise it instantly as definitely being a British teen movie. If you are American you should watch it if you are interested what was going on on the other side of the pond whilst Judd and Molly were getting high in Saturday detention.