Oct 282018

Can’t Hardly Wait still is a favorite high school movie of mine, partially because it came out at the end of my junior year and because even though I’ve seen it several times over the years, I still manage to laugh and it’s just a fun, almost comfort-like movie.



Can’t Hardly Wait
— 20 Year Reunion Edition —

Genre(s): Comedy
Mill Creek Entertainment | PG13 – 100 min. – $14.98 | October 30, 2018

Date Published: 10/28/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont
Writer(s): Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont (written by)
Cast: Ethan Embry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Charlie Korsmo, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green, Sean Patrick Thomas, Freddy Rodriguez, Donald Faison, Jaime Pressly
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Music Video
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 39.2 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Mill Creek Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The movie and features section were copied over from my 10 year anniversary DVD review, so keep that in mind with some references.
Having watching this again, my opinion (and rating) still stands.

THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Can’t Hardly Wait is one of my favorite teen comedies, not for the generic story and there isn’t any one performance that stands out. It’s a not a movie that stands the test of time like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club (John Hughes deserves a lifetime achievement award just for those two movies), but CHW is a film I admire for two reasons: 1) Nostalgia – I look back on high school years with bitter sweet memories and a part of me wishes to go back and do things over again; and 2) what writers/directors Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont did in casting was incredible.

This film features so many recognizable faces and names of actors who, at the time, may not have been established yet. Jennifer Love Hewitt at the time was on “Party of Five” but had not yet become the actress we know from the I Know What You Did Last Summer movies or Ghost Whisperer. While her role is important, she actually doesn’t have that much screen time and only maybe 2-3 minutes with the “leading man” played by Ethan Embry. Seth Green’s career has taken off with the cult popularity of the hilarious Robot Chicken as well as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Austin Powers movies. Lauren Ambrose may not be a ‘star’ per se, but she established herself on “Six Feet Under” and Peter Facinelli is, well, that guy who starred on Fastlane

But the supporting cast is what is most impressive: Sean Patrick Thomas (TV’s The District), Freddy Rodriguez (Planet Terror), Donald Faison (TV’s Scrubs), Jaime Pressly (DOA: Dead or Alive, TV’s My Name is Earl), Chris Owen (American Pie movies), Mairsol Nichols (Vegas Vacation), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Clea DuVall (The Grudge), Eric Balfour (TV’s 24, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake), Selma Blair (Hellboy movies), Jenna Elfman (TV’s Dharma and Greg), Melissa Joan Hart (TV’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip), Jerry O’Connell (Scream 2) and apparently Liv Tyler.

I think it’s more fun to look back on Can’t Hardly Wait to see these known names and faces, along with a decent teen comedy storyline. As I said, this isn’t a teen comedy great compared to the numerous John Hughes 80s flicks, but it tends to stand on its own at times despite not having key memorable scenes or lines. I know I’ll pull this DVD (** 2018 edit: Blu-ray **) out every so often. It’s a movie that works because of the cast as even though the two leads with Ethan Embry and Jennifer Love Hewitt don’t really even speak to one another until the third act (and in more depth at the end), the two of them were at least semi-believable. Add to that two funny supporting performances from Seth Green as a wannabe gangsta (or whatever) and Ambrose as the wise ass/kind of anti-social best friend, it’s a movie that keeps the flow from beginning to end.

Can’t believe it’s been 10 years (** 2018 edit 20 years **), but Can’t Hardly Wait does at least hold its own and is one of the better teen comedies of the 1990s going into the 21st century.



This release comes with a matted slip cover. Most of the important features were ported over from the 10 year anniversary edition:

Original Filmmakers’ & Cast Commentary – The original track that was previously available on the old DVD features writers/directors Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont and Seth Green. The track is actually pretty fun and oddly I never listened to it all the time I’ve had the other DVD…

Filmmakers’ & Cast Commentary – 10 Years Later – Kaplan and Elfont are back along with cast members Seth Green (again), Peter Facinelli, Donald Faison and Joel McMichaely (X-Phile #1). Although more crowded, this too is a good track as they get to look back on the movie, provide memories from the set and give updates on where some of the other cast members have been.

Deleted Scenes (~6:45) – The much talked about lost footage for the crazy drunk girl that for some reason fans were aching to see…

Huntington Hills High Class of ’98 Reunion (26:41) – Awesome featurette that has many cast members, though the female leads (Hewitt, Ambrose) are missing. Participants include Ethan Embry, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green, Freddy Rodriguez (Jock #3), Michelle Brookhurst (“Girl Whose Party It Is”), Joel Michaely (X-Phile #1), Jay Paulson (X-Phile #2), Donal Faison (Drummer), Tamala Jones (Girlfriend #2), Jennifer Lyons (Girlfriend #3), Victor Togunde (Reminiscing Guy), Nicole Bilderback (“Ready to Have Sex Girl”) and Jenna Elfman. Odd that they couldn’t at least get comments from Jennifer Love Hewitt, though…

Can’t Hardly Wait: The Making of a Teen Classic (14:26) – Basically more reminiscing about filming CHW from the participants listed above. Not as interesting as the reunion featurette, but anymore from this group is pretty cool.

Life of the Party (9:28) – Said same people talk about their own party experiences in high school, what makes a party lame or cool and just some more tidbits about their past.

And there’s also the music video for the Smash Mouth hit song.


VIDEO – 3.75/5

Mill Creek releases Can’t Hardly Wait onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer and pretty sure it’s the same one as the Sony Blu-ray release. Although this doesn’t exactly look pristine with some heavy, blotchy-esque noise, it is a mild improvement over the 10th year anniversary DVD release and colors do have a nice little pop, such as Embry’s red jacket towards the end of the film.

AUDIO – 3.5/5

The Blu-ray comes with a pleasant enough DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 providing clear dialogue levels, some decent usage of the front channels for ambient noises, which there is plenty of with most of the movie taking place at a crowded house party, and rear speakers get moderate audio for the various 1990s-era music.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

Overall, Can’t Hardly Wait still is a favorite high school movie of mine, partially because it came out at the end of my junior year and because even though I’ve seen it several times over the years, I still manage to laugh and it’s just a fun, almost comfort-like movie. The Blu-ray release from Mill Creek offers fine video/audio transfers and even though there no new features, at least most of ones from the 2008 Sony DVD were ported over.


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