6.8/10
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87 user 31 critic

Can't Buy Me Love (1987)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 14 August 1987 (USA)
A nerdy outcast secretly pays the most popular girl in school one thousand dollars to be his girlfriend.

Director:

Steve Rash
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Popularity
2,641 ( 379)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Dempsey ... Ronald Miller
Amanda Peterson ... Cindy Mancini
Courtney Gains ... Kenneth Wurman
Tina Caspary ... Barbara
Seth Green ... Chuckie Miller
Sharon Farrell ... Mrs. Mancini
Darcy DeMoss ... Patty (as Darcy De Moss)
Dennis Dugan ... David Miller
Cloyce Morrow Cloyce Morrow ... Judy Miller
Devin DeVasquez ... Iris (as Devin Devasquez)
Eric Bruskotter ... Big John
Gerardo Mejía ... Ricky
Cort McCown ... Quint
Ami Dolenz ... Fran
Max Perlich ... Lester
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Storyline

Ronald Miller is tired of being a nerd, and makes a deal with one of the most popular girls in school to help him break into the "cool" clique. He offers her a thousand dollars to pretend to be his girlfriend for a month. It succeeds, but he soon learns that the price of popularity may be higher than he expected. Written by Kevin Ackley <kackley1@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ronald is making an investment in his senior year. He's hiring the prettiest cheerleader in school to be his girlfriend.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 August 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Boy Rents Girl See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,754,732, 16 August 1987

Gross USA:

$31,623,833

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,623,833
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Takes place in Tucson, Arizona. See more »

Goofs

During the "breakup scene", Ronnie's collar is buttoned to the top, then open. It flips a few times throughout the scene. See more »

Quotes

Patty: Cool outfit!
Barbara: What a severe suede!
Cindy Mancini: You guys, it's no big deal. Bobby sent it to me from Iowa. You know they have fine leathers down there.
Patty: Oh, yeah. The best leathers come from Rome, Paris, and Des Moines!
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK theatrical version was edited by 1m 14sec to secure a PG rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Step by Step: Can't Buy Me Love (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

One Lover at a Time
Written by Jimmy Scott and Richard Feldman
Performed by Atlantic Starr
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The High School Caste System
25 April 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

Can't Buy Me Love is a sweet romantic comedy that's still great after all these years. What was the reason for making an exact replica of the film (Love Don't Cost A Thing) except geared for young black audiences? Why not just make an original romantic comedy altogether instead of trying to replicate this particular teen movie? I hate remakes.

Can't Buy Me Love ridicules the high school caste system--that popular kids are the invincible social class that other social groups strive to be part of, but are limited by the "understood" rigid rules of their place among the social system.

Ronald (Patrick Dempsey) is supposed to be the hopeless nerd. He's a quiet kid that flocks with loners (one of them being the cool Max Perlich). Ronald is in love with senior cheerleader, Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson). As the popular, rich cheerleader, she is definitely hands off for Ronald. Ronald wants the girl. He wants to be popular. Is it possible for the geek to transcend his expected role in the game of high school social groups? Definitely, but for Ronald, the consequences are disasturous and also conducive to helping Ronald straighten out his priorities of friendship, love, and the like. Is he willing to trade it all in for popularity and all the superficiality that comes with it?

Ronald's opportunity arrives when Cindy stumbles into the mall one day looking to return or exchange her mother's outfit stained with wine thanks to Cindy, who wasn't supposed to be wearing it, anways. The price of a new outfit: $1,000. So, Ronald, who happens to have that cash since he was saving up for a telescope, makes Cindy an offer: to pretend to be his girlfriend for a month. Ronald expects that this will give him just the popularity he wants. To be a high school senior, friends with Cindy, and make the A List? For Ronald, that's all he wants.

Cindy's grossed out by the idea at first, not wanting to be scene with Donald (as she constantly mistakens his name). But with the Mancini make over, Ronald's on his way to being the new stud on campus. One month later, Ronald is rubbing elbows with Cindy's senior friends, cheerleaders Barbara and Patti and and jocks Big John and Ricky. But, Ronald, in his transition, seemed to forgot that what he wanted all along was a date with Cindy Mancini, who's makeover has turned Ronald into some kind of monster. Ronald doesn't only push Cindy away, but also his closest friend, Kenneth (Courtney Gains) and the rest of his old crowd of friends who hate their friend's newfound social life. But, how far is Ronald willing to go? And how long can he live down the lie?

It was one of three good movies Dempsey made in 1987, along with Loverboy and In the Mood (actually the latter is better than the former), all being cute romantic comedies. But I think Can't Buy Me Love will always be my favorite. Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, Seth Green (who plays Ronald's little brother, Chuckie), or hell, even Max Perlich fans, are certain to like this movie. It's got good style for the 80s too and hot teen cast. I still think it is one of the top 80s teen comedies.


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