VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

Clint: 5/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 4.6/5 stars, 8/10.

We had to watch this great party movie after watching Trojan War (1997), which also had Jennifer Love Hewitt as a main character. But in this movie, she’s made up to be THE hot girl, instead of The Geeky Girl Who The Main Guy Doesn’t Notice Is Hot Until The End Of The Movie.

Both movies involve crazy, ridiculous events that occur over the course of one night. Trojan War is more of an out-on-the-town caper, while Can’t Hardly Wait is ┬ámore of a party movie. But Trojan War has a party too, and Can’t Hardly Wait has some out-on-the-town capers as well. The two are an excellent double-feature.

This is a great party movie, and an amazing cast of bit parts played by people who later turned up in all kinds of other things that we watched.

This movie is the magnum opus of writing team Harry Elfont & Deborah Kaplan, and this also co-directed it (1 of 2 movies they wrote & directed together)+. They really didn’t do anything of real value–except this movie, which deserves to be remembered.

The cast includes a LOT of people.
The 2 main (mainest?) characters are Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ethan Embry (Empire Records, Sweet Home Alabama, Harold & Kumar 1).

The main supporting characters include Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under, Psycho Beach Party–I wish more people would use her for roles), Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Greg The Bunny, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Sex Drive), Charlie Korsmo (Hook; truly as much of a geek as his character in this movie: He left acting to get degree in physics–4.0 at MIT, went on to law school, and now teaches law), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the vampire clan leader in the 5 Twilight movies, The Scorpion King).

Speaking of Seth Green being in Robot Chicken, Breckin Meyer, who is closely involved in Robot Chicken, is also in this movie. Could this be where they met? He was in Go (1999) as well. And The Craft (1996). And Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare. Dude gets around, but what he does best is make Robot Chicken (and Titan Maximum) episodes!

Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina The Teenage Witch) plays a hilarious one-dimensional character obsessed with getting her yearbook signed.

You also randomly see people who want on to become much bigger, like Jason Segel who went on to be a major player in a lot of recent comedy movies such as This Is 40, Bad Teacher, Gulliver’s Travels, Despicable Me, I Love You, Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Knocked Up, Slackers, and SLC Punk!. Or even Clea DuVall, who we are a big fan of from her work in Heroes, Carnivale, But I’m A Cheerleader, 21 Grams, and The Grudge. Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Scream 2, Hellboy 1-2, A Dirty Shame, Legally Blonde) has a bit part.

There were people we didn’t even notice as having seen. Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under, Planet Terror, Lady In The Water) as “Jock #3”. Jock #1 (Channon Roe) was in Psycho Beach Party with Lauren Ambrose. Creepy Cousin Ron was Erik Palladino (E.R., Lower Learning, Dead & Breakfast). The two “X-Phile” geeks were Joel Michaely (The Rules Of Attraction, Repli-Kate, But I’m A Cheerleader) and Jay Paulson (Go, 3 eps of Mad Men).

Even the characters who barely spoke were sometimes known!!

Of the 3 jocks’ girlfriends, we have Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl, I Love You, Man, Not Another Teen Movie, 100 Girls), Tamala Jones (Friday 2: Next Friday, Castle, For Your Love, How To Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog), and Jennifer Lyons (National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 1 & 2, 3 episodes of Married With Children, That 70’s Show, General Hospital). Literally even the eye candy characters are in a ton of other things. Everyone in this movie is in something!

The klepto kid — did he even have a line? — is Chris Owen (American Pie 1/2/Reunion, Dorm Daze, Van Wilder 1, A Midsummer Night’s Rave). The Reddi Whip kid (Vicellous Reon Shannon) was President David Palmer’s son in 13 episodes and was in the movie Senseless. Speaking of 24, one of the “groupies” was Marisol Nichols, who was Nadia Yassir for a full season of 24, of course did a guest spot on Nip/Tuck, and was in Scream 2 and Vegas Vacation.

The “ready to have sex” Asian girl was in Sex & Death 101 (as #66), and lots of TV guest spots, like 2 episides of Heroes, 4 of Dark Angel, some Buffy too. And her friend was in 3 episodes of Nip/Tuck and does a lot (~150 eps) of TV now.

The really stoned guy who licked Lauren Ambrose’s face (and would later have his character date her character in Six Feet Under) is Eric Balfour (Trojan War, 24, and that horrible Gargoyle movie). Another “stoner guy” was Brian Klugman (Cloverfield, 5 eps of Frasier).

We also have Jenna Elfman from Dharma & Greg (but I never watched that show).

Is that everybody? Hell if I know. This movie is FULL of successful actors. It’s some sort of magical nexus.

For that reason I consider it a major classic, and something everyone should go back and watch.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0127723/combined