Some Kind of Wonderful is a simple, lovely and thoughtful teenage story that occasionally shines due to fine characterizations and lucid dialog. Writer-producer John Hughes and director Howard Deutch, who collaborated on Pretty in Pink, return here for an empathetic portrayal of dilemmas on such weighty matters as individuality, genuine friendship and love.
Film is set in LA’s San Pedro area and centers on high school senior Eric Stoltz, who is a sensitive young man struggling to develop his artistic talent while juggling school, part-time work as a car mechanic and the distraction of the immensely popular Lea Thompson that he can’t quite pick up on the emotions of Mary Stuart Masterson, whom Stoltz dismisses early on as just a tomboy friend.
As Thompson fights with her wealthy and arrogant b.f. (Craig Sheffer), Stoltz manages to get her to accept a date amidst the furor and stage is set for the inevitable confrontation with Sheffer. It’s especially satisfying to watch the bond deepen between Stoltz and longtime friend Masterson.
Masterson is so adept and appealing in her role that she becomes the most interesting character of all. Fortunately, however, Stoltz has the substance to maintain his lead role. Maddie Corman as one of his younger sisters is just precocious enough to avoid being unlikable.