license to drive 1988

film

At the height of their careers and released a year after the cult hit The Lost Boys the two Coreys (Corey Haim and Corey Feldman) starred in teen comedy License to Drive.

Let’s get one thing straight. 80’s films can be awesome… but sometimes they can miss the mark. Here the two Coreys play misfits Les and Dean. Secretly in love with Mercedes (a very young looking Heather Graham), Les (Haim) is intent on passing his driving test. After failing he can’t quite bring himself to tell those around him (namely his family and his best friends), leading to mishaps aplenty.

The first half of License to Drive is enjoyable, a particular highlight being seeing Les convince his father to let him drive alone down the road to impress Mercedes. The film falters during the first half of Les’s driving test when the examiner lets him pass because his sister did. From here on in the film forgets reality and the snowballing problems are often uncomfortable to watch.

Whilst comedies don’t often stick solidly to reality, seeing Mercedes bundled into the boot of the car in order for Les and his friends to enjoy their night before stealing a car is just too unbelievable and chaotic. This said, watching the boys try and rid the car of its various dents and scratches is rather fun. Support comes from Richard Masur and Carol Kane who play Les’s expecting parents. In the film’s sub-plot they await a new arrival, seeing Mr. Anderson obeying his wife’s every whim.

The 80’s influences everything here – including the clothing, the hair and the ridiculous choices, and, whilst it worked for countless other 80’s movies, the fun just misses the mark. License to Drive is a totally ridiculous roller coaster of a movie.

 

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