The movie is more a curiosity piece now, given that many of the "teens" in this movie went on to have big Hollywood careers, but it really does capture an era. I guess you had to have grown up in it to appreciate it.
Sure, it's rough around the edges, and it definitely feels like Cameron Crowe's first script, but there's an honesty and a warmth to this movie that strikes me whenever I catch it. As far as high school movies go, it's not as seminal as American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused, but there's a reason it's still remembered (and it's not just the Phoebe Cates pool scene).
I was only around 6 or 7 when this movie came out, but it still holds something inexplicably dear to me regarding the era. You feel totally immersed in the characters and their whole Mall-World. And, yeah, Sean Penn freakin' owns this movie!!! It's a bit raw, to be sure, but it contains many truths. It just seems very authentic!
I think this movie is a great depiction of high school life. It does a great job at conveying the different character stereotypes and it does so in a way that is compelling, fresh, and interesting. It was a fun watch.
The pinnacle of teen movies and one of the greatest comedies of all time. Outstanding ensemble cast and brilliant script which is as lewd as it is wonderfully moving. A classic, and will remain so for as long as there are movies.