director Stephen Herek
A couple years back I thought about Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, that my kids might enjoy it. I showed them the old trailer from the internet and it was met with mild interest (I find that old trailers rarely have the effect of their time and intention). But a couple years passed and the kids heard about the movie from their cousins and asked to queue it up. The time was nigh.
I had seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure originally back in 1989 at the dollar movies in Gainesville, FL. The dollar movies. Man, that was a great thing for the brief moment in time that those existed. I would see just about anything for a dollar.
The goofy comedy about the two sweet but intelligence-challenged teenage dudes from San Dimas who are visited by an emissary from the future to help them pass a history final by taking them back in time to experience it first-hand, well, it’s still quite a lark. Starring Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves as Bill and Ted, it’s light, fun, extremely good-natured comedy that holds up well for what it is.
I mean, it was never great, but it was fun. And it still is.
My kids are 10 and almost 13 at the moment, and they really enjoyed it. Probably more so than I ever did. Though I possibly enjoyed it more now watching it with them.
Bill and Ted always struck me as “cleaner” versions of Spicoli from Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), though Bill and Ted aren’t partakers of weed (at least not in the context of the movie). They are just pretty dumb. Naturally.
But they are also super-sweet and positive and good-humored. Which is one of the characteristics of the film that give it its buoyancy.