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Parents' Guide to

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

By Ellen Twadell, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Teen movie is full of sex, drugs, and misbehavior.

Movie R 1982 90 minutes
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 15+

Heckerling started the teen sex comedy

The film that started the high school, mall culture, sex, drugs, and fast-food jobs narratives. Now these films are plentiful, but Heckerling nailed this culture! This film still stands as an original and the Go-Go's in the background pulse through this film. The reverberations of this film and how it shifted teen culture is still seen, Stranger Things Season 3 anyone?
age 12+


Violence 1/5 Sex 4/5 Language 5/5 Drinking/Drugs/Smoking 5/5

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (16 ):

It's easy for movies to exaggerate or misinterpret teen life, but Fast Times does not. Crowe posed as a high school student while researching his book and it shows. Issues such as peer pressure, clashes with teachers at school, and the sheer boredom of after-school jobs are portrayed with humor and even-handedness. Problems are neither black nor white. Actions have consequences, (although, not in an after school special kind of way). Both Crowe and Director Amy Heckerling show genuine respect for their characters and refuse to belabor obvious points about life, love and growing up; instead letting the viewer make up their own minds.

Fast Times might appeal to girls in the tween set. However, parents should know that adult themes concerning drugs and sexuality featured in the film make it inappropriate for children under sixteen. Parents might want to view the film separately from their teens (for fear of embarrassment on both sides).

Movie Details

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