Movie Report: License to Drive (1988)

Book coverI watched this film with my boys since I’ve got a son who’s going to be soon eligible for a learner’s permit (what? at eight? he’s not eight any more? what sorcery is this?). This movie came out when I was 16 and was, hence, by age eligible to learn to drive. However, my high school drivers’ education classes were held in the summer, which I spent with my father in Wisconsin, so I did not really get much shot at learning to drive in my high school years aside from a couple hours with a private driver’s school and Pixie’s then-husband driving with me once.

But, somehow, I got to watch this film over and over again on Showtime…. while we lived in the trailer? That hardly seems possible, since I would have moved to the house down the gravel road (which did not have cable for a while). But I did then.

Enough to write a quiz program on my Commodore 128 based on the film and use it for my own written portion of the test, which you had to pass in Missouri to get your learner’s permit.

At any rate, the plot: A slacker (played by Corey Haim) fails the computer-based part of his license test, but passes the driving part in a hard urban environment while his sister passes. As he (Corey Haim, Les Anderson, whatever; he’s playing the Corey Haim part) has backed into a date with one of the hottest young ladies at school (played by Heather Graham in an early role), he pretends that he has actually license–but his parents find out, so he cannot use the family car. He sneaks out in his grandfather’s special Cadillac; Mercedes (not the car, Heather Graham’s character) discovers that her now-former boyfriend, an Italian out of high school, is also seeing someone else, so she becomes intoxicated. Les (Corey H.) ends up picking up his friends (played by Corey Feldman as the Corey Feldman character and some other guy as the guy who is not Corey Feldman). They go to the best drive in which is way out of town and….

Well, hijinks ensue. Cars get demolished. And it works out in the end. It’s a comedy, after all.

As to the important question. Corey Haim versus Corey Feldman.

My boys said “Corey Feldman.” The cooler Corey, and the only one still with us. Still, based on this film, which I saw over and over, and not The Lost Boys which was not on Showtime, I identify more with Corey Haim. Also, I might have failed a driver’s license test or two in my time.

As to ugly women, my youngest did not deem Heather Graham ugly. Which is good, gentle reader; as you might know, I was born in the same hospital as Heather Graham, albeit two years later (a fact I have not brought up in conversation in a professional networking event since Wednesday–yes, June 16, 2021–look at my self-discipline!). So I would feel some sort of affection to the starlet of later films such as Bowfinger (which my boys have seen) and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (which they’re almost ready for–as a boy, I would have watched it, but as a father, I cannot condone it unequivocally). But let’s review.

Heather Graham back in the day:

That’s Bowfinger and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me respectively.

She’s been active to the present day, but as you know, gentle reader, I am slow on the uptake on recent films. But she has aged well according to my research.

As I once said:

I was so smitten with the young Heather Graham that I married the first hot chick named Heather that I dated.

Which might have been an Internet exaggeration.

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