American Graffiti is one of the best, if not the best teen movie of all time. It is presented in a series of intertwining storylines, which is a popular film technique nowadays. Let's say, every film that has multiple intertwining storylines nowadays owes everything to this film. American Graffiti is definitely an american classic and it was directed by pre- Star Wars/Indiana Jones George Lucas and starring former actor and now director Ron Howard amongst others.
American Graffiti follows the storylines of different teenagers over the course of one night. Steve (Ron Howard) and Lori (Cindy Williams) are a stereotypical prom king/queen high school couple on the skids because Steve wants to "leave the nest" and Lori does not. John (Paul Le Mat) inadvertently picks up an annoying young girl named Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) and hilarity ensues. Terry (Charles Martin Smith) picks up a girl in Ron Howard's car and proceeds to get said car stolen. Lastly, Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) comes across an elusive beautiful woman simply known as The Blonde and tries to meet her. He's also heading off to college. Plus, there's some stuff with drag racing and Harrison Ford also.
American Graffiti is an incredibly well-written movie and seeing it makes me desperately want to see the sequel that came out a few years after. American Graffiti was a very cleverly written film and single-handedly restored interest in portraying the 1950's on film. The characters are creative, well-written, and represent the time it was set in well. Some may find the movie jumbled or maybe a bit hard to follow, but its not that hard to follow if you pay attention. There are also some very funny moments that you have to pay attention to get. I only hope they continued the story as well as they did during the sequel.
It's quite the good thing that Ron Howard decided to switch from in front of the camera to behind because he is an unspectacular actor and a much better director. However, he manages to turn in a good performance here, along with Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith, and Paul La Mat. Who definitely stole the show in my opinion though were Candy Clark as platinum blonde-type person Debbie and Harrison Ford as the incredibly irresistable drag racer Bob Falfa. I absolutely adore Harrison Ford (he played two of my childhood heroes after all) and in this movie, he is in a small supporting role, but he proves that he is a good actor. However, out of all the actors, Mackenzie Phillips was definitely the funniest and had the funniest one-liners as the young girl.
The 50's set pieces were wonderful and depicted toe nostalgia of that time perfectly. Therefore, the movie looked as great as it sounded. The sets and the dialogue/characters were matched perfectly and like I said, they just depicted the times so well. American Graffiti is definitely the best teen movie of all time and influenced the existence of John Hughes movies. Also, I'm glad that there are no plans to remake it, that would certainly suck. Great performances, great dialogue, and great nostalgia make this just a great movie