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Forest Whitaker

'Fast Times at Ridgemont High': Dude movie or chick flick?

'Fast Times at Ridgemont High': Dude movie or chick flick?

The 1982 comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is the prototypical coming-of-age guy flick best known for enduring stoner-surfer archetype Jeff Spicoli, played by future Oscar winner Sean Penn, the image of a topless Phoebe Cates and as the introduction to the amiable zen of screenwriter Cameron Crowe, who would go on to create such bro-riffic tales as “Say Anything,” “Singles,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.”

Or maybe “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is the prototypical coming-of-age chick flick best known for its deft handling of teenage female angst, memorable performances by Cates and future Oscar nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh and as an introduction to director Amy Heckerling,...

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