The Gist: Slated to leave for college in the morning, two small town high school grads decide to make the most of their last night in town by cruising the main strip with their buddies, hoping to get lucky.
George Lucas' American Graffiti has become a revered title in the pantheon of classic American films, but in my opinion it's way overrated.
This is fairly common of course. Whenever a movie assumes a cultish status, it is often either rabidly adored (if you're one of those who "get it") or vehemently despised. Case in point, Donnie Darko.
Thing is, Lucas still retains a modicum of respect in spite of his poor performance as writer and director of the Star Wars prequels, in large part because of Graffiti, his last project unrelated to Star Wars in any way, and I'm not sure I understand why.
It's impressive to see Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ron Howard at such young ages, as well as early 60's cars, clothes, and late night joints, but the script is pretty shallow and the acting quite theatrical. I barely bought into the whole enterprise at all.
The Bottom Line: Watching American Graffiti is a good exercise if you're curious about vintage American anything, but as a movie in and of itself, I found it sorely lacking.