All the teenagers in John Hughes’s Some Kind of Wonderful are struggling to define themselves as members of a group or as individualists who stand apart from the crowd. Keith (Eric Stoltz), an outsider who works at a gas station, has a crush on Amanda (Lea Thompson), who is dating a rich cad. When she agrees to go on a date with Keith, the in-crowd at school first thinks it’s a joke, then disown her. Meanwhile Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), a drum-playing tomboy who is Keith’s best friend, becomes jealous. Although romantically interested in him, she has never expressed her feelings.
M.A. O’Rourke has observed: "It is hard for Americans to give up the idea that adolescence is a simple-minded stage somewhere between ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and ‘Grease.’" Writer and producer John Hughes once again proves that he understand the vulnerability, pressures, disappointments, and risk-taking adventures of youth. Some Kind of Wonderful is filled with human touches which span the generations from Keith’s earnest father (John Ashton), who is trying to live through his son, to Keith’s younger sister (Maddie Corman), who is overtly image conscious. The film empathetically underscores how feelings of self-worth are the essence of an adolescent’s sense of identity.