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(Review originally written at 24 November 2006)

Man, George Lucas must have really loved the '60's! This entire movie is an nostalgic trip and homage to the charismatic '60's. I mean, if you want to see how life of the American youth in the '60's was like, you should really watch this movie.

The movie its story follows a group of friends that spend their last night together in town as high school graduations. After this all their lives will change and they will each head into different directions with their lives. For the last time they do want they want and simply enjoy their youth and the innocence of it. The movie has multiple story lines as it follows multiple individual characters during that one night. Every character experience something different and also learn some important life lessons in the progress. It makes the story well written and developed and all of the characters likable and interesting, although they are very stereotypical. It also of course helps the movie that they are being played by some great actors.

The movie features lots of actors that at the time were still very young but now are very 'big'. Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Charles Martin Smith but also Harrison Ford in a small but very cool and likable role. A kind of role you wouldn't expect of him now days. Also look out for Kathleen Quinlan and Joe Spano in some small roles. So real great casting in this one! Every actor delivers a very realistic and likable performance.

The movie features lots of stereotypical nostalgic '60's elements, such as drive-ins, cruising the strip, drag races etc. The movie is good looking with some nice looking cars and production design. It really helps to set the right mood for the time period the movie is set in. Also of course the very present musical-score consisting entirely out of memorable rock 'n' roll hits of the era helps to give you a real '60's' feeling, even if you weren't even born at that time (such as myself by the way).

The movie is a great mix of nostalgic '60's elements and 'coming of age' story lines. It makes "American Graffiti" an unique and pleasant viewing experience.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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