Can't Buy Me Love (1987)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Teen Movie, Sex Comedy  |   Release Date - Aug 14, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 94 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Derek Armstrong

The struggle to graduate from geek to god has rarely been as painfully misguided as in Can't Buy Me Love, in which a well-meaning romantic (Patrick Dempsey) uses the money he'd set aside for a telescope to rent a popular beauty's affections for a month's time. Of course, in this process he also must step on the toes of his former clan of nerdish friends, and Dempsey's Ronald Miller does so with an iron boot, straying further from the straight and narrow than a frivolous comedy like this would usually require. The rocky road to popularity, as well as the revelation that the journey is pretty hollow, is handled at about the average level for this genre. Dempsey's intensity as an actor gives Ronald Miller a third dimension that the script doesn't provide. Amanda Peterson made quite an impression as Dempsey's love interest, bringing a lot more to the production than just a pretty face, but never again materialized in such a prominent role. Seth Green also makes an early career appearance as Ronald's pesky younger brother. Beneath its simplistic narrative sheen, Can't Buy Me Love has enough warmth and true sentiments that it deserves its status as a fond favorite of those who were teenagers in the late '80s.