Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jen and Brad were cute, but Shia LaBeouf's Spicoli was the star of the charity Fast Times reading

Illustration for article titled Jen and Brad were cute, but Shia LaBeoufs Spicoli was the star of the charity iFast Times/i reading
Screenshot: CORE

The celebs have been at it time and again throughout the pandemic, but, if they simply must continue to foist themselves upon the suffering masses, we’d prefer it be like last night’s Fast Times At Ridgemont High read-through. Organized by Dane Cook, of all people, the high-wattage cast assembled to help raise funds for CORE and Reform Alliance, the former of which was founded by Fast Times alum Sean Penn.

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Penn was on hand for the reading, though not playing Mr. Hand (that was Ray Liotta). Rounding out the cast was Cook (Ratner), Brad Pitt (Brad), Jennifer Aniston (Linda), Julia Roberts (Stacy), Matthew McConaughey (Damone), John Legend (Charles Jefferson), Henry Golding (Mr. Vargas), and Jimmy Kimmel (many teenage girls). Morgan Freeman read stage directions, while Shia LaBeouf stripped off his shirt and smoked himself stupid while channeling stoner hero Spicoli from inside a car. It ruled, honestly.

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Of course, it was the iconic fantasy sequence—originally performed by Phoebe Cates and Judge Reinhold—that raised the most eyebrows, specifically because it unfolded between exes Pitt and Aniston. As Freeman reads Cameron Crowe’s positively filthy stage directions, Aniston’s amused face contrasts with Pitt’s strained downward gaze. The rest of the cast, meanwhile, giggles into their hands, eyes unable to turn away from the trainwreck that is two exes being forced into a shared spotlight.

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“Hi, Brad. You know how cute I always thought you were,” says Aniston’s Linda. “I think you’re so sexy. Will you come to me?”

Yeah, okay, we’re squirming, too. Watch it below.

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Still, it’s LaBeouf’s now-trademark dedication that propels this reading into must-watch territory. He storms in and out of the car throughout his scenes, leaning hard into Spicoli’s dumb sweetness while also digging deep into the anger the character feels when Mr. Hand tears up his cards. His sweaty, steely delivery of “you dick” stands toe-to-toe with Penn’s.

Speaking of Penn, just look at how amused he is by LaBeouf’s first scene.

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You can watch the full thing below. It’s worth it for all the aforementioned reasons, but also McConaughey introducing himself as Damone with a breezy, “I’m just sellin’ tickets!”

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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