Fast Times at Ridgemont High
It’s easy to accept that Heckerling’s lack of recognition is typical of the treatment of female directors, and her challenges have included obstacles unknown to many male directors, such as taking time off for children and caring for elderly parents. However, her work in less prestigious mid-budget comedies and teen films, and therefore with new and lesser known actors, has often been by choice. Her great accomplishments as a feminist director come not from breaking into the prestigious and male-dominated genres, but in how she has presented female characters and female sexuality in her films.
Check out all of the posts from our Ladies of the 1980s Week here.
Phoebe Cates brings life to the energetic, worldly, confident-yet-vulnerable Linda. Her character is the heart and soul of the movie, as she gives Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) advice on sex, relationships, and navigating her way through high school. … The film never takes a judgmental attitude towards these young women, their sexual activities, and their frank discussions of sex.
10 feminist comedies from the 1980s that focus on women and their careers, friendships, families, relationships, and journeys of self-discovery. Also, a look at how well these films do (or don’t) pass the Bechdel Test.
Given this climate, it is somewhat surprising that two mainstream Hollywood films, ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ would take progressive approaches to a topic like reproductive justice. While ‘Dirty Dancing’ remembers the realities of abortion pre-Roe v. Wade and illustrates the role that class plays in access to abortion, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ shows a main character who exercises her right to choose without trauma or punishment, while managing to keep a relatively light tone.