Before being known as “McDreamy”on the hit drama series, “Grey’s Anatomy“, Patrick Dempsey had a few “heartthrob” movie hits in the late 1980’s. The best known is “Can’t Buy Me Love“, which took its title from the well-know Beatles hit of the same name.
The basic premise is this – nerd saves up all Summer to buy a telescope. Nerd sees cheerleader in distress (needing $1,000 to replace a ruined suede dress she “borrowed” from her mother) and comes up with a deal that will help both of them. The plan seems ludicrous, paying $1,000 to pretend to go out with a nerd for a month which he figures will get him in with the “popular” crowd? To her amazement (and not to the audience’s from seeing how shallow that crowd is), it works. His $1,000 investment got him a fast-track to “cool town”.
But then the newfound popularity goes to his head until it finally all unravels in mere minutes at the cheerleader’s New Year’s Eve party. The scene takes less than 5 minutes and to me is the saddest New Year’s Eve ever.
Sadly we lost Amanda Peterson this year to an accidental drug overdose. The movie still holds up, however, and the lesson is very valid today as it was back in 1988 – you can buy friendships and popularity, but it won’t last. True love & friendships, the ones you build over time, are the ones that will last forever.
This film was remade in 2003 with Nick Cannon & Christina Milian under the title, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and incorporated a few scenes from the original film.
If you want to see the entire movie (showing the full the rise and fall of “Ronnie Miller”), someone was nice enough to post a copy to YouTube.