Dazed and Confused (1993)

I’ll start off with the truth – this didn’t do much for me. I wanted it to. I love Richard Linklater – Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are two of my favorite movies. But Dazed just didn’t do it for me.

Though I get why it has such a cult following.

Like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) before it, it’s not particularly brilliant. But, in so many ways, it’s very much of its time. I think I saw this too late for it to have the appropriate impact on me. Had I seen it when I was in highschool, it may have left a more indelible mark. Sadly, it didn’t. 

However, films like this are always entertaining, if only for their accessibility and simplicity. It’s enjoyable, there’s no doubt about that.

Parker Posey just about killed me – she was my favorite, least annoying character by far. Zero angst, and more bitchiness than can be appropriately contained in such a tiny vessel, she oozes awfulness in every scene she steals. And I fucking loved her for it. She had more amazing one liners than most other characters did monologues in the entire film.

Stylistically, it’s simple, as most popular, coming-of-age films tend to be. The continuity seems ok, but nothing flooring, and the tone is light, if at times a little too slow.

All in all it feels like a 1970s equivalent of American Graffiti (1973), though not nearly as entertaining or compelling. Then again, I have a freakish soft spot for ’50s and ’60s pop music – on first viewing American Graffiti I knew every song on the soundtrack – so perhaps that swayed me.

All in all, I was woefully underwhelmed.

But I suppose that’s just part of the process. I can’t expect to like everything, least of all everything popular. Popularity does not denote quality.

This post was originally published on my tumblr on August 15, 2012.