We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"Can't Buy Me Love" makes American teenagers look like stupid and materialistic twits. That would be all right if the movie were aware of itself and knew what it was doing - if it were a satirical comment on our society. But this movie is as naive as the day is long. It doesn't have a thought in its head and probably no notion of the corruption at its core.
The plot: The movie's hero (Patrick Dempsey) is a nerd, an outcast, a member of the wrong crowd at school. He mows lawns for spending money and dreams of the beautiful Cindy (Amanda Peterson), the most popular girl in school. One day, in desperation, he offers her his life savings of $1,000 if she will agree to go out with him for a month. That's a lot of lawns.
His theory is that he will become popular if he is seen with the right girl on his arm. Her theory is that the money will help her replace her mother's expensive coat, which she wore to a party and got red wine all over. Now think for a minute. Is this really a portrait of teenage America? Of course not. It is more likely a portrait of the possession-oriented values of the adults who made this film.
Cindy is, of course, being asked to be a prostitute, in soul if not in body. Ronald, the hero, is trying to buy popularity. The kids in the school are portrayed, almost without exception, as monstrously cruel snobs. Their parents are generally uncaring, unloving or absent.