License To Drive (1988)
Why I Love This Scene: Sometimes mediocre movies from your youth leave an imprint on your life. Simple, easily-forgotten flicks that maybe you watched a hundred times on cable on a lazy summer afternoon with friends while you huffed paint. OK, maybe it was model glue; the point is these types of movies will never be on your top 150 greatest movies list any time soon but they will somehow be given a pass or even a wry grimace when brought up in conversation and you may even defend said film as not being totally terrible. Such a movie for me is License to Drive.
While the Corey’s stole our hearts in the late 80s and adorned a many prepubescent girls’ bedroom walls with torn out covers of Tiger Beat, they also made some decent flicks together. License to Drive may not have the cool vampire hunting theme as The Lost Boys (or Jason Patric’s dreamy blue eyes) but it was one funny teen comedy about a slacker who flunks his drivers test, yet takes his grandfather’s prized cadillac out because he needs to impress a very attractive girl. When that girl is a 18-year-old Heather Graham, you will steal a tank in an Eastern Bloc army base to take her out for burgers and fries!
Well anyway, this scene popped into my head because I happened to drive behind a Maserati. This immediately made me say out loud to my wife, “Ooh a Maserati! This is much nicer than mine!” which is what the inebriated fella says to the Cadillac before he steals it and goes on a drunken joyride while the Corey’s give chase. Before reviewing this clip again I always thought the actor playing the wino was Don Calfa, who played the hilarious hit man in Weekend At Bernie’s. But it’s some actor named Henry Alan Miller who only acted in one other movie, Overboard. That’s too bad as he did a fantastic job as the wacky drunk driver. I love how he sings along to Sinatra’s “That’s Life!” while swerving into every road obstacle coming his way and opening even more tiny liquor bottles. I forgot how funny the scene was when he’s slicing up limes on the dashboard while driving and uttering complaints to people who’ve wronged him. Classic drunk acting. But despite me not seeing this film in over 20 years I still remember his line about the Maserati (his other lines too) and exactly how he said it and it gave me a chuckle. It’s the little things that make all the difference, ya know?
So while you may scoff at such a lame 80s teen comedy that you may have never seen since its heyday and especially because it starred such easily-dismissed stars as the Corey’s; it’s really not that bad as you may recall. If you’ve never seen it before, I hope this scene may entice you to add it to your Netflix queue.