Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

Thirty-five years ago today, the film Some Kind of Wonderful premiered. I love nearly every John Hughes movie, this being near the top of the list. And the soundtrack is quintessentially 80s. You have to see this film.

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Title: Some Kind of Wonderful
Directed by: Howard Deutch
Produced by: John Hughes
Written by: John Hughes
Starring: Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Craig Sheffer, Lea Thompson
Music by: Stephen Hague, John Musser
Cinematography: Jan Kiesser
Edited by: Bud S. Smith, M. Scott Smith
Production company: Hughes Entertainment
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release date: February 27, 1987
Box office: $18.5 million

The film is set against the strict social hierarchy of an American public high school in suburban Los Angeles. Blue collar mechanic Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz) and his tomboyish friend Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), who has been subjected to rumors that she is a lesbian, aspire to improve their social standing. When Keith asks out the most popular and attractive girl in school, Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson), Watts realizes her feelings for him are much deeper. Watts tells Keith that Amanda will appreciate a good kisser, and shows Keith how to kiss. He later uses his college fund, with Watts in tow, and selects a pair of earrings for Amanda.

Meanwhile, Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer), Amanda’s narcissistic ex-boyfriend from a wealthy neighborhood, plots trouble for Keith by inviting him and Amanda to a party after their date. Hardy jealously plans to have Keith beaten up. Keith finds out about the plot, believing Amanda to be part of it, but goes ahead with the date anyway, spending the rest of his college money on an expensive dinner and roping in Watts (as chauffeur) to help make the date special. At Jenns’s party, the timely arrival of other “misfits” saves Keith from taking a beating. Keith also tells Jenns off by reminding him that no matter what happens, his narcissism and vindictive ways have done nothing but prove what an insecure and pathetic person he really is and he feels nothing but pity for him because of it. Keith tells Jenns he is “over,” and Amanda slaps Jenns’s face.

In the end, Amanda decides that she needs to learn to stand on her own, find out who she is and make real friends. She returns the earrings that Keith gave to her. Keith, pleased with the result, and realizing that he is in love with his best friend, bids Amanda goodbye with a kiss on the cheek, after she urges him to go after Watts. Keith catches up to Watts and they kiss, whereupon Keith confesses to Watts that he had no idea how she really felt about him. Keith then gives Watts the earrings after she admitted that she wanted them the whole time, and Keith jokes that Watts knew she was going to get them, and she says that she hoped but that she didn’t know. Watts asks Keith how they look, and he replies, “You look good wearing my future.”


“Do Anything” – Pete Shelley
“Brilliant Mind” – Furniture
“Cry Like This” – Blue Room
“I Go Crazy” – Flesh for Lulu
“She Loves Me” – Stephen Duffy
“The Hardest Walk” – The Jesus and Mary Chain
“The Shyest Time” – The Apartments
“Miss Amanda Jones” – The March Violets
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Lick the Tins
“Turn to the Sky” – The March Violets
“Beats So Lonely” – Charlie Sexton 1985

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