Release Date: March 28, 1986
Director: David Seltzer
Starring: Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen, Kerri Green, Courtney Thorne-Smith.
Tag Lines: “It’s about falling in love…for the first time.”
“She was the biggest thing that ever hit him until he played football.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being different.”
“A boy that just won’t be beaten.”
Relevance: In 1986, I knew who Corey Haim was due to movies like ‘Firstborn,’ ‘Silver Bullet’ and ‘Murphy’s Romance,’ but only as a recognizable face. So when ‘Lucas’ was released it simply flew under my radar. However, the following year ‘The Lost Boys’ was released and he suddenly became a household name. No surprise that movie will be his second one to appear on my list much later this year. And because of that movie’s success, ‘Lucas’ became one of my Blockbuster rentals sometime in the summer of 1987.
As a then shy, quiet, nerdy 16 year old boy, I easily related to the character of Lucas Blye. I understood his troubles of not being able to fit in with other kids his age and being bullied at school. I totally fell in love with this movie. It’s a teenage romantic comedy/drama but one that seemed different than the other “teenage” movies of that era. I felt the characters were much more well rounded and believable. I also love the story of an underdog. And ‘Lucas’ was just that.
Since watching that movie, the name Lucas has always been one of my favorites. When it came time to name my son in 1997, since Marius Christian was completely shunned by everyone, I chose Lucas. Most people think that I named my son after George Lucas and the character of Luke Skywalker. I once joked that I named him Luke so that I can say “Luke, I am your father,” (Yes, calm down. I know that is not the exact quote form ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’) It was just a joke, but people went with it. It’s true I was and am a ‘Star Wars’ fan but honestly the name was chosen more because of Corey Haim, not George Lucas. Just don’t tell my son. I get enough eye rolls from him.
Today’s Thoughts: I probably have not seen ‘Lucas’ in its entirety since 1987. However, I think about it often. Any time I see or talk to my son, I have glimpses of Corey Haim wearing that over-sized varsity jacket with his hands up over his head from the very last scene in the movie. It always makes me smile. And I couldn’t wait to watch the movie again today.
It is a very simple, cute story and movie. However, its themes are still very much relevant today. The idea of always wanting to fit in without losing who you are is important at any age, 16 or 48. Bullies come in all shapes, sizes, ages and genders. We endured them as kids and we still endure them as adults. So to watch a movie that shows its main character overcome his struggles is still emotional. Not Kleenex box emotional, but emotional nonetheless.
It was fun to see a lot of famous actors and actresses in the movie at a much more young and innocent time in their lives. Charlie Sheen, Jeremy Piven and Winona Ryder, in her acting debut, are all great in the movie. Corey Haim was absolutely perfect in the role, equal parts nerdy, adorable and heartbreaking. He really was a gifted young actor. I will say knowing the rumors about what happened to him during the filming of the movie (look it up) and knowing how is life tragically ended at the age of 38 made watching it a little bittersweet.
Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, DVD Availability.