Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)

“For one month you draped all over me like a cheap fucking suit!” In this amusing variation on the high school geek theme that rises a notch above the typical ‘80s teen comedy, total loser “Ronald Miller” (Patrick Dempsey) actually pays popular cheerleader “Cindy Mancini” (Amanda Peterson) $1,000 to go out with him for a month. Before you know it, this guy is out there partying with the worst of them, scoring with Cindy’s friends “Barbara” (Tina Caspary) and “Patty” (Darcy DeMoss), and shitting all over his former nerd buddies, including his best friend “Kenneth Wurman” (Courtney Gains), who hang out on Saturday nights at the local video arcade. To complicate matters, Cindy starts falling for Ronald (they share a love for astronomy, believe it or not!). However, Ronald’s deception eventually rears its ugly head. The film’s lesson? “Nerds, jocks. My side, your side. It’s all bullshit. It’s hard enough just trying to be yourself.” Can’t Buy Me Love features some genuinely funny moments such as when Ronald accidentally learns an “African Mating Ritual” dance on PBS (he thinks he’s watching Dance Party USA or something) and initiates a new craze at the high school dance. Directed by Steve Rash (The Buddy Holly Story) and filmed at the former Tucson High School in Tucson, Arizona, Can’t Buy Me Love (original title: Boy Rents Girl) also features singer Gerardo (Mejia) as “Ricky” and Seth Green as Ronald’s devious little brother “Chuckie.” Peterson was a bright young talent but unfortunately her film career really never took off. Whatever happened to Amanda Peterson? Can’t Buy Me Love was remade (rather ineptly) in 2003 as Love Don’t Co$t a Thing, which starred Nick Cannon and Christina Milian.

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