AFI's 100 Movies

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Selection for the Weekend of
September 8 - 10, 2000

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The lovable loser who suffers the torment of others is a tried and true cliché, especially when set in the confines of high school. However, every once in a while, a movie takes the cliché and adds a little twist that makes it worth watching. Such is the case with Lucas.

Lucas (Corey Haim) is a nerdy, awkward 14-year old science geek. He doesn't know how to relate to people and is often dismissed because he easily fits into a stereotype. Once summer, he meets Maggie (Kerri Green), every young high school boy's fantasy. She's a beautiful 16-year old who befriends our nerdy hero. Finally, Lucas thinks he has found a soulmate. Unfortunately, it is not to last.

Summer ends and the kids go back to high school where social hierarchy is imposed upon everyone, even those who try to rebel against it. Maggie starts to grow apart from Lucas and wants to explore more traditional high school activities such as cheerleading.

Will Lucas be able to get her back?

Writer/director David Seltzer elevates the movie above cliché level by avoiding the temptation of creating stereotypical characters. One of Lucas' best friends is Cappie (Charlie Sheen), a star football player who protects him from the bullies. Maggie isn't the unattainable babe; she's a great gal who is also beautiful. Even Lucas, who should be the most sympathetic character, has flaws and narrow-minded thinking that makes him less likable. In short, it's an interesting movie because it doesn't follow a road map.

Haim is great as the nerdy, bitter science geek who suddenly must deal with the most dangerous feeling of all - hope. All of his young life, Lucas had known his role in the hierarchy. He is the tortured soul. However, his self-esteem and hope for a better life is raised by this relationship he never could have imagined possible. His reaction to that loss of hope is what raises the performance to a wonderful level.

This one is worth the rental price just to see the cast of future stars. Check out Lucas this weekend.

Grade: A

Directed and written by David Seltzer


Corey Haim ……………….. Lucas

Charlie Sheen ……………… Cappie

Courtney Thorne-Smith ….… Elise

Winona Ryder ………………Rina

Kerri Green …………………Maggie

Jeremy Piven ………………. Spike

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