Can’t Buy Me Love

Can't Buy Me Love

Every nerd, at one time or another, has wondered how the other side lives, the side inhabited by the popular kids. For most, it is world they will never have an opportunity to set foot in. But high school outcast Ronald Miller figures out a way to cross the great divide in Can’t Buy Me Love, a 1987 comedy about buying popularity.

When socialite and head cheerleader Cindy Mancini accidentally destroys her mother’s prized thousand-dollar suede jacket, Miller makes her a deal she can’t refuse. He offers to give her the money to replace the jacket, with just one little catch – she must become his boyfriend for a month and introduce him into the cool clique of kids that he so desperately wants to belong to. Hopelessly in a bind, she reluctantly agrees – with the caveat that no kissing is allowed.

With the help of a complete makeover and Cindy’s companionship, he manages to infiltrate the world of the popular kids, making friends and getting invited to their parties. Of course, the grass is always greener on the other side, and Ronald soon finds that popularity isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Sure, Cindy is started to see him less as an employer and discovering that she has true feelings for this former nerd. And sure, he has gotten everything out of the agreement he could have ever hoped for. But he soon realizes that, somewhere along the way, his integrity has been sacrificed, along with the true friendships he made long before his rise to popularity. It’s time to make a difficult choice.

Thanks to scoring a rare licensing agreement, the film, which was going to be called Boy Rents Girl, found its new namesake thanks to the help of those lovable lads from Liverpool, The Beatles (or at least, Michael Jackson). Can’t Buy Me Love didn’t exactly break any box office records, but it remains an endearing teen film which serves to remind that, for all its powers, money simply can’t buy everything.

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