Thirty years after Fast Times at Ridgemont High her presence is still felt
has replaced his initial promise, while her career is starting to take off and that dichotomy has poisoned the marriage. Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline play their two sons, the older one hero-worshipping before being undone by his father and the younger one determined to confront his father and side with his mother. It’s well worth watching. It’s Kline, though, who’s the revelation because of having to perform a number of physically very sensitive acts.
|Phoebe Cates with Jennifer Jason Leigh, |
Jane Adams, Alan Cumming...and Dexter
Phoebe Cates will always be associated with Fast Times at Ridgemont High for those of us who came of age in the ‘80s even though she made other films. She played Linda, the gorgeous, smart best friend of Leigh’s quiet, serious Stacy and her eager advice practically ruined Stacy’s life. At the end, a viewer questions the extent of Linda’s experience after witnessing Stacy deal with a number of tragedies, including an abortion. Brian Backer and Robert Romanus played two of Stacy’s suitors, though neither of their careers really went anywhere. I don’t know if this movie could even be made today.
|Fast Times at Ridgemont High|
Cates went on to do some other teen movies as well as stage work. I saw her at The Goodman in Romeo and Juliet in the late ‘80s and she was excellent. Although she is avid as Linda, she was able to play Juliet’s initial sheltered innocence all the way through her emerging womanhood with bravado.
Her last significant roles were in Drop Dead Fred (a sort of horrible, awkward comedy that really feels British, probably because Nik Mayall played Fred, her obnoxious imaginary friend) and Princess Caraboo, a 19th century period piece comedy revolving around whether the Princess is authentic or a con artist. In The Anniversary Party, she seems grounded and self-knowing. The advice her character offers Leigh’s character is wise, though she’s very aware that the situation has layers of complication. In recent red carpet pictures, she still looks beautiful, but also real. She doesn’t look like she’s had work done and she seems fine with the fact that she chose marriage and motherhood over her acting career. So, hats off to her, but I would like to see her in a new movie in the next five years.