Kegs of beer, hallucinogenic mushrooms and bongs full of pot gather a group of townies to celebrate the advent of summer. Tori (Leighton Meester, “Gossip Girl”) is torn between being her usual self, a responsible babysitter, and experimenting with hallucinogenic mushrooms with her best friend while babysitting. Holly (Alexa Vega, Spy Kids) has just been promoted from the eighth grade and desperately wants to appear like she is a full-fledged high school student by driving around in her mom’s station wagon and plotting to hook up with guys. Lucy (Amber Heard, Pineapple Express) is disillusioned with her clique’s usual banter and her depressed boyfriend, who flunked too many classes to graduate on time, and is dreaming of an answer to her boredom and frustration. Brianne (Melonie Diaz, Be kind Rewind) and Dawn’s (Lyndsy Fonseca, “Desperate Housewives”) relationship is suddenly changed since they have become romantically involved with each other after being best friends for years. Will the teens gain clarity on how to solve life’s problems or will their night be lost in a drunken, drug induced daze?
There’s no shortage of teen movies in Hollywood that focus on that last day of senior year. This film follows a group of students on the last day of school, some seniors, some seniors that aren’t passing, some juniors, and then that eager bunch of 8th graders that will finally be in high school next year. Being 6 years detached from high school myself, I can’t help but look back on films like this and want to shake the main characters into the reality that high school isn’t the peak of one’s life. If it is, well then, that’s just sad. However, this is the feeling that you are left with at the end of the film.
There’s a lot of talent here that should be noted. Amber Heard does a great job, and some viewers may recognize her from last summer’s defunct TV drama Hidden Palms or from this spring’s film Never Back Down. And of course there is Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl, a beautiful and talented young actress that is what Rachel Bilson was to The OC. While the acting is all quite good, the storyline is just mediocre making the film just lukewarm. When compared to other movies from this genre, it doesn’t appear to be so bad, despite the constant stoner references and melodramatic acts of selflessness that involve hooking friends up and saving other friends from their insensitive boyfriends. I just wasn’t impressed.
This film reminded me a lot of 98’s Can’t Hardly Wait, which I actually enjoyed more in retrospect. I do think that there was something there with Remember The Daze that the director managed to scratch the surface of, but the group of kids the film focuses on just didn’t present a well-rounded group. All the girls were beautiful and seemingly popular enough in their own social circles. The boys were all losers and/or stoners. No jocks (other than the ones that crash the keg party), no nerds, no accurate representation of the high school so many of us remember. I just would have liked to see more of a reference to these other social groups, even if they weren’t apart of the focus of the film.
All in all, it’s not a bad film. If you’re a fan of the high school genre of films, you’ll probably enjoy this title. It’s definitely more edgy than other films in this area, and you have to appreciate that. But in the end, there was still something missing for me.
Review by Emma Loggins