License to Drive

License to Drive is a 1988 teen adventure film written by Neil Tolkin and directed by Greg Beeman in his feature film directorial debut. It stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Heather Graham, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Michael Manasseri and Nina Siemaszko. The film was in production in late 1987.

It was released on July 6, 1988 in the United States and grossed over $20 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Les Anderson (Corey Haim) is a 16-year-old living in Southern California who tries to get his driver’s license and falls in love with Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham). After failing the knowledge portion of his driver’s exam, Les inadvertently causes a computer surge. The Department of Motor Vehicles lets him pass the exam as his failing score was thought to be irretrievable, assuming as his twin sister had scored so highly, that twins could not be too different. He eventually also passes the road test, but when his test scores are finally retrieved, his new license is torn up and he is officially failed. Les conceals this, but his mother finds out the truth and he is grounded for two weeks because he lied. That night, having already made plans to use his new license, he sneaks out of the house with his grandfather’s prized 1972 Cadillac Sedan de Ville for a night on the town with Mercedes. After showing him how Los Angeles looks from far away on a hill, she tells him that her father used to bring her to the hill. While Mercedes is getting drunk, she and Les cause the hood of the car to slightly cave in by dancing on it. Mercedes then passes out. Les panics and goes to his best friend Dean’s house, where Dean (Corey Feldman) fixes the dent in the car’s hood. Dean persuades Les to go out for a joyride, along with their friend Charles (Michael Manasseri), who are both still unaware that Les does not have a license. The three, along with a blacked-out Mercedes (who they put in the trunk of the car), end up getting into all kinds of trouble and hilarity ensues as they cause even more damage to the Cadillac. Meanwhile, Les’ extremely pregnant mother, late in the night, wakes up her husband, shouting that she is in labour.

A good comedy in its day, 6/10

  • Corey Haim as Les Anderson
  • Corey Feldman as Dean
  • Carol Kane as Mrs. Anderson
  • Richard Masur as Mr. Anderson
  • Heather Graham as Mercedes Lane
  • Michael Manasseri as Charles
  • Parley Baer as Grandpa
  • Harvey Miller as The Professor
  • Michael A. Nickles as Paolo
  • Nina Siemaszko as Natalie Anderson
  • James Avery as Les’ DMV Examiner
  • Grant Goodeve as Natalie’s DMV Examiner
  • Grant Heslov as Karl
  • Michael Ensign as School Teacher/Bus Driver
  • Helen Hanft as Miss Hellberg
  • Christopher Burton as Rudy
  • Nanci Meek-Kusley as Shakey’s Waitress
  • Lewis Carr as Car Park Attendant

Comments are welcome on your 80s memories...