We’ll Keep Waiting For A Sequel To ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’

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The year was 1998. Brandy and Monica fought over the same boy, Australian duo Savage Garden ruled the charts, a new show about a kid named Dawson premiered, and Can’t Hardly Wait became the year’s entry into filling the void left by John Hughes.

Seventeen years later, Can’t Hardly Wait still stands up.

It’s the last night of high school and emo kid Preston is using the end of the year party as his final shot at making popular girl Amanda fall in love with him. Everyone else is just trying to get laid.

It’s a teen tale as old as time, but Can’t Hardly Wait had all the ingredients for a timeless high school flick. The party was overly extravagant, the popular kids were beautiful 25-year-old actors, the soundtrack was a mix of the biggest hits on radio that day and cooler underground bands, and the future was a terrifying unknown. And of course, it was impossible to not root for underdog Preston, played by the lovable and charming Ethan Embry. He was tall, with hair, and wore shirts sometimes.

Jennifer love Hewitt played Amanda, the popular cheerleader and the object Preston’s desire (and everyone else’s desire for that matter).

Hewitt attended this past weekend’s screening of Can’t Hardly Wait at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A. The actress was so excited to see the beloved teen film that she tweeted about a possible reunion or sequel.

Embry, who was also at the screening, responded in the most Preston way possible, referencing a Barry Manilow lyric that his character thought was a sign he was meant to be with Amanda. Of course, we all know now it was about Manilow’s dog.

Embry even followed up with a Can’t Hardly Wait reunion of his own, posting a picture of actor Peter Facinelli, who unlike his character Mike Dexter, appears to not be a dick at all.

At first, we were thrilled by the thought of a sequel to Can’t Hardly Wait. Why wouldn’t we want more of one of our favorite teen films? Sure, the flick ended with an update for some of the characters, but of course we still have questions. Did Love Burger ever play another show? How many bathrooms did Kenny and Denise christen? What product did Amanda used to get so much volume in her hair?

But then we realized that we wouldn’t like seeing where Amanda and Preston ended up. Contrary to what the closing credits would like us to believe, there’s no way Preston and Amanda are together 17 years later.

Preston believed that he and Amanda were destined to be together because of a Pop Tart and an assumption that she was a kind person. Maybe she was, but more than likely not. This was the same girl who spent four years dating the school bully. Sure, Amanda could have been scared to break up with Mike, but there’s also the very likely possibility that she was a mean girl too.

Preston would have eventually realized, probably while trying to visualize his post-college wedding to Amanda, that being able to laugh with his bestie Denise was more fulfilling than trying to make conversation with a woman he had nothing in common with. Hopefully, Preston would be able to woo Denise back from Kenny.

For her part, Amanda may have made it to her second year of college before realizing she had never been single in her adolescent life, but thankfully now knew what a loving partner looked like. Then she would have probably dated another football player, but this one would have been Pre-Med and polite.

In essence, Can’t Hardly Wait did get a follow up to Preston and Amanda kissing at the train station. It was called 500 Days of Summer and showed what really happens when a relationship is built around one party idolizing the other without really knowing them at all. As 500 Days pointed out right from the get-go, this is not a love story. The Pop Tart was a best a coincidence, not something with “great cosmic significance.”

While the post-high school sequel worked for the American Pie series, the main characters of Jim and Michelle, as well as Finch and Stilfer’s mom (hey, it worked) actually established a relationship. There was some foundation for the characters, allowing the audience to believe things would work out for the couples.

As Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian asks out in The Breakfast Club, what happens on Monday? He knew the answer and so did the rest of us. A sequel to Can’t Hardly Wait would be one big Monday, where we hope Preston and Amanda stay together, and for the Princess and the Criminal to date, but we all know that none of this likely would have happened.

Do we really want a Can’t Hardly Wait sequel? I’ll never say ‘no’ to more Ethan Embry on screen, but keeping the final night (and morning after) of high school in its perfect DVD shell is probably for the best.