Who can forget getting their driver’s license? Getting your driver’s license meant freedom. It was a turning point in most teenagers lives but what about if you didn’t get it? You passed your road test but you failed the knowledge test! Well, that’s exactly what happens to Les Anderson played by Corey Haim in the 1988 movie “License to drive”.
Les desperately wants his license. He doesn’t want to have to ride the bus to school anymore but most of all he wants it so he can impress girls. Well there is one girl in particular that he wants to impress. She is Mercedes Lane played by Heather Graham. Mercedes already has a boyfriend though. Les notices that her boyfriend is older and he drives a Ferrari. This motivates him even more to get his license. One night he and his friends are at a party that Mercedes and her boyfriend are at to. Les and his friends watch as Mercedes and her boyfriend get into a heated argument. To make her boyfriend jealous she tells him that she has a date with another guy. Her boyfriend doesn’t believe her so she looks for the nearest guy she can find and guess who it is! Mercedes grabs Les and gives him that “play along with me” look as she “reminds” him about their date on Saturday. Les goes with it and her boyfriend storms out, Mercedes thanks Les for helping her and then she disappears through the crowd of people.
The next day Les’s dad picks him up from school in his Grandpa’s car. Since his dad knows Les is trying for his license soon he tells Les he can drive the car with his supervision. Before they switch drivers Les notices Mercedes is walking down the street ahead of them. Les begs his dad to let him drive the car by himself so he can impress her. He tells his dad all he wants to do is drive up, maybe say hi and then come right back. His dad gives in and steps out so Les can go and see Mercedes. Les pulls up and reminds her about him helping her out at the party last night. Mercedes remembers and then asks Les if he could give her a ride to her friend’s house. Wanting to impress her he tells her no problem, the only thing is her friend lives across town! After Les drops off Mercedes he quickly backtracks and finds his not so happy dad walking home. Despite his dad tearing a strip off him, Les is feeling pretty happy because he gave Mercedes his phone number when he dropped her off. However, his happiness is short-lived. The next day when he goes for his license, he fails the knowledge test and doesn’t get it.
Too ashamed to let his friends Dean played by Corey Feldman and Charles played by Micheal Manasseri know he failed, he tells them he got his license. A lie he also tells his parents. However, his parents find out and ground him for 2 weeks. This, of course, ruins the already made plans with his friends. So when he gets a call from Mercedes seeing if he’s still going to take her out on a date, Les can’t pass up the opportunity. He tells her he will be by to pick her up soon. Then after making sure his parents are both sound asleep, he sneaks out of the house. He quietly rolls his grandpa’s Cadillac Sedan de Villa out of the garage and then he’s off to get Mercedes. From there one bad decision leads to another and his dream date turns into any kid that steals his grandpa’s car worst nightmare.
13 things about “License to drive
- Neither Corey Haim or Feldman had driver’s licenses themselves when filming started.
- Nine Cadillacs were purchased for use in the film.
- Ben Affleck auditioned for the role of Les Anderson.
- This is the second movie featuring the two Corey’s. They would go on to star in 10 more movies together.
- Corey Feldman originally tried out for the role of Les Anderson.
- This was Heather Graham’s first starring role in a feature film.
- Corey Feldman chose all his own wardrobe for the movie.
- In the parallel parking scene, Corey Haim did the parking himself.
- The movie was originally going to be named “To live and drive in LA”
- The movie was released in Germany as “Daddy’s Cadillac “.
- The whole movie was shot in 3 months. October ’87 to December ’87.
- In an interview on Larry King live on July 2007, both Corey’s admitted to being high while filming “License to drive “.
- At the time of Corey Haim’s death both Corey’s were in talks of producing, writing and co-starring in a sequel to “License to drive ” called “License to fly”.
“License to drive” update
Century Fox and producer John Davis have hired Alyish Brophy and Scott Miles to develop a remake version of the movie. This time with female leads and being described as a female version of “Superbad”. I am curious to see which actresses will be chosen since Haim and Feldman were both teenagers themselves when they were in the original. There is no release date yet and it is still in the development stages.