Directed by Amy Heckerling, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” marked the debut of Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous”, “Say Anything…”, “Jerry Maguire”), and the film was based on a book he wrote about his own youth. “The studio hierarchy never took the movie seriously,” Crowe told Variety. “In fact, they kind of closed their eyes, we could barely get on the pitch.” Crowe recalled a time when they were trying to get onto the studio lot to shoot, and a front door worker named “Scotty” was the only person who actually remembered the movie even happening.
“The other guys were like ‘What are you doing trying to get on the pitch?’ We’re like, ‘We’re doing this movie called ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ And they said, ‘No, the studio isn’t doing a movie called ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High.’ We really snuck in.”
Upon its release, critics were divided on what they thought of the film, which is understandable given that there had never been anything like it at the time. Over the years, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ has been ranked as a pivotal moment in the teen movie canon, even earning a Criterion release in 2021. ‘Fast Times’ has proven storytelling worth honest about teenagers and warts and all, and the movie world is a better place for it.