[box cover]


Unlike that other red-headed '80s teen movie star, Kerri Green never quite made it to the point where she symbolized a whole genre of films — not to mention a decade. But she did manage to do something in her relatively short film career that Molly Ringwald never accomplished: work with not just one, but both of "the Coreys." Green traipsed through spooky underground caverns with Feldman as one of The Goonies, and she becomes the object of Haim's love-struck affection in Lucas. The latter is the kind of sweet teenage comedy-romance that seems almost exclusive to the '80s; it's impossible to imagine the film finding a young audience today innocent enough to watch it without rolling their eyes and laughing at the clichés. And there are plenty of them. Lucas Bly (Haim) is a textbook 14-year-old nerd — too smart for his own good, with a scrawny build, unkempt hair, and big square glasses (indeed, something about his appearance in this film makes him look a bit like a young Al Franken...). The girl he falls for over the summer, 16-year-old new girl in town Maggie (Green), at first seems like she'll break the '80s teen heroine stereotypes: She learns to appreciate bugs and streams and classical music, and she and Lucas become best friends. But then school starts, Maggie meets sensitive football star Cappie (Charlie Sheen), and Lucas is history — despite the fact that he decides to try out for the football team, too. To give Green credit, her Maggie actually feels like a real teenager in Lucas; her charged conversations with Cappie are full of the type of mundane small talk that means so much when you're 16 and flirting, and her conflicted feelings about Lucas always seem genuine. Haim is appealing, too — much more so than in silly late-'80s fare like License to Drive. Here his smile seems endearing and sincere instead of cocky and snarky, and you can't help but sympathize as he watches the girl of his dreams fall for the kind of guy he'll never be. Also worth noting is Winona Ryder, making her film debut as Rina, the marching-band geek who adores Lucas blindly, despite the fact that (naturally) he has no idea she cares. Courtney Thorne-Smith plays Elise, Cappie's head-cheerleader girlfriend, but her part is small and one-note (it's difficult to refrain from yelling "According to Jim!" every time she's on screen...). A mix of Rudy, 16 Candles, and Some Kind of Wonderful, Lucas never quite became a true '80s classic, but for a little bit of nostalgic fun, it's hard to beat. Fox's two-sided disc offers both anamorphic (1.85:1) and full-frame transfers — both are decent, given the film's age. The English DD 4.0 audio is clear; other options include a Spanish mono track, French stereo, and English and Spanish subtitles. The only extras are trailers for Lucas, Bushwhacked, and Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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