'License to Drive' is a teen-comedy adventure that released in 1988 to widespread critical acclaim and was a surprise hit at the box-office. The movie was also successful on its home video release where it has since gained a cult following.
The film tells the story of Les Anderson (Corey Haim), a 16-year-old who desperately wants to get a driving license as it means the world to him. He also has a serious crush on a girl, Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham) who goes to the same school as him. Add his wisecracking best friend Dean (Corey Feldman) to the equation and you have a teen adventure to remember.
The movie in a nutshell is funny, innocent, entertaining, unwinding and clearly one of the best 80's feel-good teen movies. The pace of the movie is fast and the situations that are created in the movie are ones, which you can relate to, especially from your teen days. This connection combined with the comedy really strikes a chord with the viewer.
I watched the movie on VHS back in 1989 and it straight away became one of my favourite teen movies. I loved it and saw it so many times without becoming bored. I watched it recently on DVD and I can happily say it's equally as good as when I first saw it. It bought back a lot of good and cherished memories from the 80's, which was an era of its kind.
The movie stars The two Coreys (Corey Haim & Corey Feldman) who were born in the same year and were two popular actors in the 1980s. The Corey's became a brand and have made nine movies together and this was their second collaboration. They made a number of successful teen-orientated films in the late 1980's, which have deservedly become cult classics. An unknown fact about the film is that both actors auditioned for the role of the main character, Les Anderson, which went to Mr. Haim.
Both the Corey's are excellent in the film and share a natural chemistry that heightens the movies entertainment value. They are perfect for their respective roles and perform toe-to-toe. Watching the movie, it's hard to believe Haim is no longer alive. It is sad and he is missed but thankfully we've got this movie to remember him by.
Michael Manasseri (Charles) who plays the nerdy friend of Les is also a treat to watch. Heather Graham is nice and innocent. Another actor I enjoyed watching was Richard Masur (played the role of Les's dad) who very amusing as the frustrated father.
The direction provided by Greg Beeman is flawless, can't fault a man who's responsible for a classic.
The background music score by Jay Ferguson is foot-tapping and energetic. Truly 80's music that makes the movie more special.
The movie is the perfect feel-good teen movie for me because it effortlessly took me back to the fun times when I was 16 years old and kept me there for the duration of the movie.
On the day Haim passed away, Feldman stated in an interview that both him and Haim were working on a sequel to 'License to Drive' called 'License to Fly'. He also stated that there were plans for a trilogy with the third movie being called 'License to Dive'. Sadly, this is not possible anymore but in a way it's good for the original because it could've been ruined by a sequel that would've struggled to meet the high level set by its predecessor.
'License to Drive' is a FANTASTIC return to the 80's.