Movie review: 'Skateland,' 3 stars
Directed by Anthony Burns
Starring Shiloh Fernandez, Ashley Greene, Heath Freeman
There have been a lot of John Hughes imitators over the years trying to recapture the tone of “The Breakfast Club” director’s era-defining portraits of suburban ’80s teenage life.
In “Skateland,” director Anthony Burns perhaps gets closest of all to the mix of broad humor, melodrama and nostalgia that defined the Hughes oeuvre.
It’s 1983, and 19-year-old Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) is overwhelmed by the prospect of leaving his small Texas town and starting the rest of his life — all he wants to do is work at the roller rink Skateland, romance the beautiful Michelle Burkham (Ashley Greene) and swing by some epic parties with his buddy Brent (and Michelle's brother) Brent (Heath Freeman). But growing up is something he must face after events shatter his youthful facade.
This is familiar narrative terrain, of course. But it’s affectionately re-worked in Burns’ atmospheric rendition, complete with scenes set against the setting sun and amidst once-popular hangouts of teens grasping for a last fling with the past as an uncertain future calls.