Review Detail

8.6 4 10
Extended Edition October 12, 2012 2851
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This is a great edit that I recommend as an alternate way to view the film. People probably remember this movie as a classic '80s romance or rom-com, and this makes a perfect counterpoint to that. The addition of nearly 30 minutes of footage reveals a very different kind of film originally intended! Arguably, Ione Skye becomes the lead, and the story becomes about her deciding her future and being torn between her (supposedly) stable, conventional father and the oddball rebel, Lloyd Dobler. (Full thoughts here:

Biggest differences:
Skye's opening graduation speech is much longer. This is the worst part, as you can see why it was cut (many of the parts aren't very good), and the audio here is also the worst integration (missing an echo effect from the microphone).
The whole subplot with Mahoney trying to expand his retirement home business while under investigation for fraud is significantly expanded. Mahoney acts his balls off here and these scenes are amazing.
Several expanded supporting cast character bits. These are fun snippets that flesh out the world a little bit and add to the feeling of this being a teen film, like Crowe's previous script, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Some added bonding bits between Cusack and Skye. These really help their romance seem more substantial and less rom-com-y, but they do make the film feel more serious.

Overall, this is a great way to rewatch, as the film gets a substantially different vibe. Personally, I prefer the charm of the original, which you can feel was artfully shaped in the edit into a film worthy of its iconic status. However, there's lots of great stuff from the cutting room floor, and I like this version almost as much. The visual quality in the normal scenes isn't super crisp, so some of the deleted scenes blend right in, actually. It's more the extended scenes that stick out a bit, when the footage cuts back and forth in short order and the comparison is easy. Overall, this is a pretty tight edit though, and I wasn't taken out of the experience too much. I'd highly recommend this for fans of the original, or '80s films in general.

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