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Can't Buy Me Love (film): Wikis


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Can't Buy Me Love

Film poster
Directed by Steve Rash
Produced by Thom Mount
Written by Michael Swerdlick
Starring Patrick Dempsey
Amanda Peterson
Courtney Gains
Tina Caspary
Seth Green
Music by Robert Folk
Cinematography Peter Lyons Collister
Editing by Jeff Gourson
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
Release date(s) 14 August 1987
(North America)
December 31, 1987
Running time 94 min.
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $31,623,833 (USA)[1]

Can't Buy Me Love (1987) is a teen comedy feature film starring Patrick Dempsey and Amanda Peterson in a story about a nerd at a high school in Tucson, Arizona who gives a cheerleader $1,000 to pretend to be his girlfriend for a month. The film was directed by Steve Rash.[2] The film ranked number 41 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies in 2006.[3] [4]



Ronald Miller (Dempsey) is a typical high school nerd. At an opportune moment, he makes a deal with popular cheerleader Cynthia "Cindy" Mancini (Peterson) to spend $1,000 of his savings to replace a suede outfit Cindy damaged that belonged to her mother. Cindy has few options and reluctantly agrees to help him look "cool" by pretending to be his girlfriend for a month. Both agree never to reveal the pact.

Ronald then trades his nerdy-but-loyal friends for the shallow popular students and undergoes a complete clothing and hair makeover at Cindy's direction. Over the month, the two discover each others individuality and are drawn closer together in appreciation. Cindy soon starts to actually like Ronald and becomes jealous when she sees him going out with her girlfriends Barbara and Patty. When the month has ended, Ronald and Cindy dramatically "break up" at school.

Ronald continues playing "cool" by hanging out with the jocks and hot chicks. At a New Year's Eve party, Cindy is brutally dumped by her college boyfriend when he learns about her relationship with Ronald. In anger and frustration, Cindy tells the party-goers the truth about her relationship with Ronald and his "cool" pretenses. Cindy effectively puts Ronald back at square one with not only the hot crowd who avoid him but the nerdy crowd as well.

Ronald suffers much emotional distress at being socially isolated; however, a moment comes to redeem himself when he defends a nerd against the onslaught of a jock. Ronald points out they were all friends at one time and suddenly they are divided into cliques. Cindy recognizes Ronald's worth and the two reconcile when Cindy opts to hop on the back of Ronald's riding lawn mower instead of hanging out with her popular friends. The two share a kiss as the title song plays.


Production notes

The film was shot on location in Tucson, Arizona, at Tucson High Magnet School (then known as Tucson High School). The choreography is by Paula Abdul, who makes an uncredited appearance as a dancer. When the filmakers decided to make this a non-union shoot, the Screen Actor's Guild protested the filming, going so far as to send representatives to the school to discourage students from appearing on camera. Because of this, none of the school's drama students chose to appear as extras in the film.


Caryn James in the New York Times wrote that the film missed its mark and traded its potential originality for a bid at popularity by writing, "Michael Swerdlick, the writer, and Steve Rash, the director...waste a chance to make the much deeper, funnier movie that strains to break through. [The film]...has an identity crisis that's a mirror-image of Ronald's own. He thinks he wants popularity at any price, though he's really a sincere guy. The film thinks it wants to be sincere, when all it truly wants is to be popular, just like the other kids' movies, so it sells off its originality."[5]

The film grossed over $31m in the USA.[6]

Awards and nominations

Young Artist Award

  • Won: Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy, Patrick Dempsey
  • Nominated: Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy, Amanda Peterson
  • Nominated: Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy, Tina Caspary
  • Nominated: Best Family Motion Picture - Comedy


In 2003, Can't Buy Me Love was remade as Love Don't Cost a Thing starring Nick Cannon and Christina Milian.[7]


External links



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