Ten years ago a film was released that changed a generation. Nay, it changed the whole world. An epic film whose scope has yet to fully be understood. It opened our eyes, made us cry, and showed us what love was really all about. OK, so maybe it didn't actually do any of those things. Instead, Can't Hardly Wait became its generation's rainy day pick-me-up teen comedy that found some grains of magical John Hughes dust and created an endearing guilty-pleasure classic.
Long since on my list of top-ten favorite films, I've seen it I don't know how many times. What I do know is every line from the film, scads of trivia about it, and that finally -- at long last -- we have a 10 Year Reunion Edition on DVD.
So for those of you that have the old edition, you're likely wondering, What's new?
For starters, this thing comes with a slew of "looking back" interviews. Almost identical to the hour of short features woven together on The Breakfast Club Flashback Edition, this has interviews with a number of cast members ranging from stars Ethan Embry, Seth Green, and Peter Facinelli to a number of the obscure, smaller characters like "Girl Whose Party It Is," "Memories Guy," and "Crying Girl." Unfortunately, much like The Breakfast Club, there are a number of notably absent folks such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauren Ambrose, and Charlie Korsmo. Even more unfortunate is the lack of interviews with all the folks with small parts who went on to become celebs in their own right. One of Can't Hardly Wait's chief charms as it ages is the number of successful actors who came out of the film: Jason Segel, Eric Balfour, Sean Patrick Thomas, Freddy Rodriguez, Donald Faison, Jaime Pressly, Clea DuVall, Selma Blair, Jenna Elfman, Breckin Meyer, Jerry O'Connell, Melissa Joan Hart.
Sadly, what could have been an incredible look back at the yearbook of this film instead is a focus on most of the unknowns. That's not necessarily a bad thing as it proves to be an interesting look at a number of the characters that make up the "scenery" and what this film has meant to a slew of the actors in it. These interviews are cut together and broken up into a series of topics, each going over a different aspect of the making-of the movie.
Two other cool features make the disc worthwhile. The first is "Special K's 411 Track Yo," which is a low-rent version of "Pop Up Video" -- it mixes in making-of facts, pop-culture references, and a number of jokes about things going on in the movie. Calling it "Special K's 411 Track" leads me to believe it was done by Seth Green (who plays Special K/Kenny in the film), but I can't find anything specific to back that up. Secondly, there is a drunken commentary reunion track, which tells you almost nothing about the film itself. A group of the actors sit with the writer/directors, drinking margaritas, and discussing a veritable "Where are they now?" about many of the cast while telling set stories and occasionally turning to actor/producer Joel Michaely to get updates on the people no one else has kept track of. (Joel's ability to know what everyone else on the planet is doing right at this moment is legendary. I've witnessed this phenomena in person... I'm certain right now he's mentioning to someone "Oh, Cargill? Last I heard he was writing a story about me." It's positively supernatural.)
Finally, what I have been waiting for proved to be my biggest disappointment with the disc -- the deleted scenes. These scenes have apparently sat on tapes for 10 years and it shows. It's kind of cool to see these unused segments and even cooler to remember when this is what deleted material looked like. However, there is something very cool missing: one of the excised minor plot lines from the film involves a then-unknown Jason Segel pouring seven bottles of vodka into a watermelon and then keeping it in his freezer for a year just for this party; when he finally pulls it out, people all grab at it causing it to fall, shatter and then get scooped up by the most rabid party-goers. You can see bits of this in the trailer and at one point in the film you see people eating watermelon in the background. This for some reason was not included in the deleted scenes -- and it was the one scene I couldn't hardly wait for!
The complete lack of watermelon aside, I had a great time with the disc. What features are here are a delightful mix of information and frolic. What's not here will no doubt make for a killer 20th Reunion disc. Can't Hardly Wait - 10 Year Reunion Edition is available now from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.