Brief summary: There are films which try to emulate the “John Hughes vibe”, and there are films which nail it, in their own unique way. Skateland fits in the latter category.
Everyone loves John Hughes films. They’re funny, sharp, with characters you care deeply about, and music which kicks ass. Skateland isn’t like a John Hughes film at all, though….. it’s a lot more serious, and it’s a lot slower-paced, but just as engaging, and with characters you totally care about.
So…. here’s the basic plot (slightly modified from wikipedia): Skateland takes place in a small town in Texas in 1983. The film follows a 19-year-old named Ritchie who spends most of his time at the local rollerskating rink where he works and hangs out with his friends, Brent (a respected motocross biker), Brent’s sister Michelle, and their friend Kenny. Ritchie is struggling trying to figure out his future, when tragedy strikes and forces him to make some important decisions in his life.
I’ve seen this film about ten times over the last year and a half. I love it so much. The music alone makes this film worth watching. It has a LOT of great 80s new wave/modern rock songs in the film… from Blondie’s “The Tide Is High” to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”… all the way to “Space Age Love Song” by Flock of Seagulls, and Modern English’s “I Melt With You”…. fantastic soundtrack.
And… it must be said that Michelle (played by the absolutely flawless Ashley Greene) is every 80s guy’s dream…. She’s truly the girl next door: she’s cool, sweet, loves good music, and she’s got that look that just screams “the perfect 80s girl.” Her green eyeshadow in a few different scenes is something to behold…. whew. My heart just goes pitter-patter when seeing her in this film…. those eyes. That nose. Those lips… that face. Here’s a screencap:
I highly recommend Skateland, especially if you were born in the 70s (like me) and feel nostalgic about the 80s and love/miss those classy 80s girls (like me). Passionately written and beautifully directed by Anthony Burns.