''License to Drive'' is a 1988 American
teen Adolescence ()''Macmillan Dictionary for Students'' Macmillan, Pan Ltd. (1981), page 14, 456. Retrieved July 15, 2010. is a transitional stage of Developmental biology, physical and psychological Human development (biology), development that ...
comedy film A comedy film is a category of film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, c ...
written by
Neil Tolkin Neil Tolkin is a Canadian screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter for short), scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which mass media, such as films, televis ...
and directed by Greg Beeman in his feature film List of directorial debuts, directorial debut. It stars Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, Heather Graham, Carol Kane, Richard Masur, Michael Manasseri, and Nina Siemaszko. The film was in production in late 1987. It was released on July 6, 1988, in the United States and grossed over $20 million at the North American box office. It was distributed by 20th Century Fox.


Southern California teenager Les Anderson (Corey Haim) tries to get his driver's license in order to impress his crush, Mercedes Lane (Heather Graham). He fails the knowledge portion of the exam, but inadvertently causes a computer surge. Les' failing marks are thought to be irretrievable, but the Department of Motor Vehicles lets him pass the exam after comparing him to his twin sister's high marks. He eventually passes the road test, but his real test scores are finally retrieved and his license is revoked. Les tries concealing the truth from his parents, but his mother finds out the truth and grounds him for two weeks. Les made plans to drive his grandfather's prized 1972 Cadillac Sedan de Ville prior and decides to sneak away anyway for a joyride with Mercedes. Mercedes gets drunk and then she and Les accidentally cave in the hood of the car after dancing on it. Mercedes passes out; Les panics and goes to his best friend Dean's (Corey Feldman) house to have him fix the dent in the car's hood. Dean persuades Les to continue the joyride along with their friend Charles (Michael Manasseri), but are unaware Les still does not have his license. The three put Mercedes in the trunk of the car and continue their night on the town, causing even more damage to the Cadillac. Meanwhile, Mrs. Anderson wakes up her husband late in the night announcing she is in labor. The next day, Les drops off Charles and Dean at their homes. Mercedes wakes up and believes that the night prior was a dream. Les drops her off at her house where they share a kiss. Les gets in trouble with his father Robert after returning home with the damaged Cadillac. Mrs. Anderson is still in labor, but since the car's transmission will not shift into drive he is forced to drive his family to the hospital in reverse. Mrs. Anderson is taken into the hospital but a crane fails outside and a falling steel girder crushes the Cadillac, much to the shock of Les and Robert. The family tries to explain the state of the Cadillac to Les' grandfather, but Grandpa laughs it off as he reveals he has severely damaged his son's own BMW in an accident. Robert gives the BMW to Les and jokingly tells him to take good care of it. Although Les thanks his father, he has changed his mind and doesn't want it anymore. Mercedes pulls up in a white Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet and picks up Les, who gets in the driver's seat and drives away with her.



Box office

It earned $22,433,275 at the North American box office, against a production budget of $8 million.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, ''License to Drive'' has a "rotten" score of 24% based on 25 reviews with an average rating of 3.6/10. On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 36 out of 100 based on 9 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews." ''Chicago Sun-Times'' critic Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half out of four stars and described the film as "more-than-passable summer entertainment, especially when it identifies with the yearnings of its young heroes to get behind the wheel." He said the first half of the film was "very funny" but the second half was "much more predictable".


; Track listing # "Drive My Car" by Breakfast Club (band), Breakfast Club – 3:13 # "Sweet Surrender" by Brenda K. Starr – 4:50 # "I Feel Free" (extended version) by Belinda Carlisle – 6:55 # "Time Starts Now" by Boys Club (band), Boys Club – 4:28 # "Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car" by Billy Ocean – 4:43 # "Crucial (song), Crucial" by New Edition – 4:30 # "One More Dance" by Jonathan Butler – 4:32 # "Jazzy's in the House" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – 2:55 # "Touch and Go" by Femme Fatale (American band), Femme Fatale – 3:57 # "Make Some Noise" by Slave Raider – 3:28 # "Mercedes Boy" by Perri "Pebbles" Reid, Pebbles – 3:54 (single remix) Songs played in the film, but not on the soundtrack # "Rush Hour (song), Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin – 4:03 # "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra # "That's Life (song), That's Life" by Frank Sinatra # "Waiting for the Big One" by Femme Fatale

Home media

''License to Drive'' was first released on VHS by CBS/Fox Video in late 1988. It was notable that some VHS versions of the film replaced the Nia Peeples song "Trouble" with "New Sensation" by INXS. A special edition DVD was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment in the United States on May 3, 2005. Special features included interviews with Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, audio commentary with Greg Beeman and Neil Tolkin, deleted scenes, TV spots, theatrical trailers, and the film's screenplay (DVD-ROM). On January 17, 2012, Anchor Bay released the film on Blu-ray.

Unmade sequel and trilogy

In an interview on ''Larry King Live'', on March 10, 2010, the day of Corey Haim's death, Corey Feldman revealed that he and Haim had been developing a sequel, titled ''License to Fly'', an idea initiated by Haim. Feldman also stated that there were tentative plans for a trilogy, with a third installment called ''License to Dive.''


Fox and Davis are developing a female-driven reboot based on the film.

See also

* List of American films of 1988


External links

* * * {{Greg Beeman 1988 films 1988 comedy films 1988 directorial debut films 1980s teen comedy films American films American teen comedy films Davis Entertainment films English-language films Films directed by Greg Beeman Films produced by John Davis Films set in California Films shot in California