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Film / Lucas

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Lucas is a 1986 American Coming of Age dramedy film starring Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Charlie Sheen, and Winona Ryder (in her film debut).

Lucas (Corey Haim) is a nerdy kid who, due to his high intelligence, advanced up a few grades and is currently attending high school. He meets Maggie (Green), a teenage girl who just moved to Lucas' town, and the two become best friends over the course of a summer. Cut to the beginning of the school year, and Lucas becomes infatuated with Maggie, despite Maggie being in love with Cappie, a high school senior and Captain of the football who acts like Lucas' bodyguard.

The film was well-received by critics, especially by Roger Ebert who gave it a very glowing review, but the film bombed at the box office. It has, however, gained a cult following over the years.


Not to be confused with Lucas. Compare with Angus, another coming-of-age film centering around a social outcast.

Tropes in this film:

  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's never stated, but there's an implication that Lucas has Asperger's Syndrome or some other form of high-functioning autism. He's incredibly smart and knowledgeable about his interests, but has a difficult time reading social cues and relating to other kids at their level.
    • It could also be a result of the fact that he has a rough home life with an alcoholic father.
  • The Cheerleader/Pom-Pom Girl: Zigzagged between the two. Lucas considers the cheerleaders to be frivolous, and some of them do join in The Freelance Shame Squad once or twice (although not with all the context after the shower room prank) and as Maggie and the other new cheerleaders are being welcomed its pointed out that they have plenty of reasons besides social status to join the team (such as regular exercise, and college resumes). Of the main cheerleaders, Maggie is a pretty good person, and despite some flaws, Elise is nicer to Lucas than most of their classmates. Overall, while Lucas isn't portrayed as necessarily wrong to feel resentful towards the cheerleaders, Maggie has a point when she tells him;
    Maggie: Don't call people superficial when they just want to have fun!
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  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Cappie's girlfriend Alise gets very irritated about the Ship Tease between him and Maggie, they quickly break up over it.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Part of the Principal's reasons for standing in Lucas' way when he wants to join the football team, stating that he's "doing you a favor."
  • Determinator: Perhaps Lucas' most admirable trait is that no matter what kind of humiliation or torment he suffers from his peers, he rolls with the punches and dusts himself off and keeps right on going when he gets knocked down:
    "You can't make me quit! EVER!!"
  • Did Not Get the Girl: A particularly bittersweet case, as Maggie really does love and care for Lucas as a friend, but it takes him a long time to fully understand the "as a friend" part, and he's deeply hurt when she falls for Cappie. Mind, it takes a lot of the sting out that Cappie is a genuinely good guy who also cares a great deal about Lucas. note 
  • Fat Best Friend: School photographer Ben is one of Lucas' few friends and is a little chubby. He isn't afraid to stand up to Bruno during an argument at the movie theater though, even before Cappie intervenes.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: Lucas gets the squad sicced on him four separate times!
  • Groin Attack: Some of the meaner guys on the team put liniment on Lucas' jockstrap, forcing him to run across the schoolyard to find a drinking fountain to hose it off— while numerous other kids point and laugh, of course.
  • Jerk Jock: Subverted with Cappie Roew. Cappie used to bully Lucas, but did a Heel–Face Turn after Lucas helped him keep up with his studies when he fell ill and became Lucas's friend and protector, and he's nothing but a Lovable Jock in the story proper.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maggie may be a bit short with Lucas at times (like when he asked her out to the dance, and she rejects him), however she still cares for Lucas as a friend, and doesn't join the other kids when they ridicule him. Plus she even cheers him on at the game, and is deeply concerned for him when he gets injured.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Subverted. Maggie thinks Lucas is this, because she always sees him fooling around in the garden of a huge, palatial house on the nice side of town. Rina explains much later that he merely works as that family's gardener, and his real home is a run-down trailer he shares with an abusive, alcoholic father.
  • Love Hurts: When Lucas realizes that Maggie doesn't return his affections — worse, that she IS interested in his football player friend Cappie — he is shattered. After a failed attempt at kissing her (met with an amused "what are we going to do with you?"), Lucas screams at her repeatedly to go away. The next day, he tries to go out for the football team, an act his band friends interpret as "suicide."
  • Oblivious to Love: While Lucas misreads Maggie's affection as being more than it is, he remains utterly clueless of Rina's obvious interest in him.
  • Rules Lawyer: When the school's football coach tries to keep Lucas from trying out for the team, Rudy cites a sexual discrimination act on why he has to be given the same chance as everyone else, and threatens to sue if he isn't.
  • Slow Clap: Played straight at the very end.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Lucas gives it his all in the climatic football game, but it turns out that no matter how much fighting spirit you have, being felled upon by several burly jocks when you're half their size is going to put you out of the game - and into the hospital.
  • Villain Respect: Even the worst bullies on the football team cut Lucas some slack and show him some appreciation after he's hurt in the game.


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