This one, I will have to confess, is a favorite of mine.
There aren’t too many movies, especially in the 90s when this came out, that were this emotionally honest about what it’s like to be a teenager. The movie’s an interesting allegory. On one level, it’s a geeky guy’s attempt to not only keep himself entertained but to reach out to others… and along the way, ends up becoming a reluctant revolutionary figure to his peers. On another, it’s all about the commonalities that unify us when we’re at that age. Everybody’s confused. Everybody’s lost. Nobody knows what the hell is going on, but we’re all pretty sure we’re getting fucked over somehow. And ultimately, we all just want to scream out in frustration at everything around us.
It bombed at the box-office, but it’s influence was a lot farther reaching. Amongst other things, it introduced an entire generation of disaffected youth to the Pixies, The Jesus and Mary Chain and the incredible Leonard Cohen. It also is a movie about one of the world’s first proto-bloggers, substituting pirated airwaves for WordPress and a Feedburner account.
And it also started a life-long mini-obsession with Samantha Mathis. Well… for me, anyway. I have seen so many bad movies because of her…
So with that somewhat uncomfortable admission out there, let’s get to it. There’s a lot for my nerd kin to learn from this. Let’s go.