Brace yourselves, Loveburger fans. This is the deluxe Can't Hardly Wait set you've been waiting for. I know I can't be alone in my adoration of this movie, because otherwise, why would they make it, and why would the cast agree to do so many extras? I believe this last-night-of-high-school party flick holds a special place in the hearts of many, and that legion of devotees will not be disappointed. In fact, might I suggest throwing a kick-ass party specifically to celebrate watching this with your friends? Crank up the "Paradise City," drink so much you can't feel your legs and then end up getting the shindig crashed by the cops? It would be awesome.
Even if you don't want your house destroyed and for people to hook up in your bathroom, there's still a lot of fun to be had here. Mostly because of Seth Green. The plot synopsis:It's the last night of high school, there's a bitchin' party and everyone tries to get either one last dig at their mortal enemies, hook up with the girl of their dreams or right some other wrong. It came out a year before the similarly themed American Pie so it's slightly tamer, but it has one of those who's who in pop culture kind of casts that make it a culty favorite. I guarantee you that someone you know has quoted this movie to you at some point, even if you didn't realize it at the time.
Now I know what you're thinking, because I kind of thought it too: You already own a version of the DVD of this goofy comedy, which has a commentary on it, so why buy another one? (What, is that just me?) But when you find out what's on here... you're probably going to cave. Just like I did. (I can't be the only one.) The only thing that ticked me off was that the previews were billed as extras and I had to sit through them at the beginning of the movie. Truly annoying. But I learned there's a sequel to Center Stage, so that's something.
The original commentary is on here, but now it's also got special reunion commentary. It's like going to your high school reunion, but with people you actually like and would want to spend time with, instead of those you've spent the last ten years trying desperately to avoid at the supermarket, etc. The track features Peter Facinelli (who played the jock Mike Dexter), Donald Faison (drummer for Loveburger), Seth Green (wannabe gangsta Kenny Fisher), Joel Michaely (X-Phile #1), and writer/director team Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan. There are so many good nuggets of info on here, mostly doled out by Green or Michaely (who together function as a walking, talking Can't Hardly Wait wikipedia). Michaely is the guy who knows where everyone went, what they are doing now, and random fun factoids about shooting the movie. They're all hanging out, sipping margaritas and reminiscing. Some fun facts that I learned: James Marsden auditioned for the Mike Dexter role. Breckin Meyer (who was dating Kaplan at the time and is now married to her) was supposed to play Kenny, but he was busy filming the "classic" 54 and just opted to play the Loveburger frontman. Donald Faison talks a lot about Clueless (movie and TV show), but comes out with the best random line. "You know what sucks? When you date a girl and she says she loves Star Wars, but she really doesn't." Aw, Donald. Come hang out at my house. You can play with my R2-D2 collection. Oh, and the geeky kid from Hook who played nerd hero William Lichter. Apparently he's, like, working for the government now and he's a total genius. Diverse cast. And last bit of important info, never play Celebrity or Charades against Breckin Meyer and Seth Green. They are a force.
There's several Featurettes. "The Huntington Hills -- Class of '98 Reunion," which has all the folks from the commentary being interviewed, plus Ethan Embry, Freddy Rodriguez, Jenna Elfman, Michelle Brookhurst, Nicole Bilderback, Tamala Jones and Jennifer Lyons all chatting about making the film. There's also the "Making of a Teen Classic," more interviews about filming, how Seth was obsessed with doing random Polaroid pranks and how the directors had hardly any experience. They also thought about making the movie all in one take... but rethought that quickly. And "Life of the Party" about making the party and then their tales of post-grad bashes that they went to. Facinelli (who is weirdly blonde, so they must have filmed his stuff during the making of Twilight) talks about having a kid and playing a teen. Embry doesn't really like parties because he's old. Which is 30 in his book.
There are the obligatory deleted and extended scenes. None of them is especially remarkable, unless you really want to watch Jerry O'Connell belch more. I thought there'd be more of the crying girl (played by Amber Benson) since they talk about that role getting cut a lot, but I guess it got cut here too.
Other random stuff, "You Know You're '90s If... Trivia." This is depressing. The video for Smashmouth's "I Can't Get Enough of You Baby." It features some of the cast, especially Jennifer Love Hewitt, and was choreographed by Robin Antin (she who wrought the Pussycat Dolls upon the world) and directed by McG. And "Special K's 411 Track Yo," which is essentially the pop up video version of the film, with fun facts about the movie.
The only thing really missing is any sort of commentary from Jennifer Love Hewitt, who is probably trying to distance herself from this now that she's in Ghost Whisperer land, or she's just too busy. (Though one would argue that Seth Green is always busy and so's Donald Faison and they made time... but whatever.) And Lauren Ambrose has moved on from this world, too -- they say she was doing Shakespeare or something. And I would have loved if Jaime Pressly gave her take on the film, because she's just a hoot. But she's got one of those day jobs, too -- although, unlike Ambrose and Hewitt, who had starring roles, Pressly was only in a few scenes, and she mostly shook her ass. Oh, and a current picture of Charlie Korsmo (especially if he's all in government duds) would have been appreciated. Though working for the EPA or government or whatever is arguably slightly more important than talking about a teen comedy he made ten years ago. But just slightly.