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Some Kind of Wonderful is a 1987 American romantic-drama\coming of age film directed by Howard Deutch & written by John Hughes, starring Eric Stolz, Lea Thompson and Mary Stuart Masterson.


Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about
the entire movie.

Working class high school students Keith Nelson and Watts are good friends, but after Keith asks out Amanda Jones, the most popular girl in school, Watts realizes her feelings for him are much deeper. Watts tells Keith that Amanda will need a good kisser & she shows him how to kiss which makes Keith confused for his feelings for both Watts and Amanda.

Keith later uses his college fund to buy a pair of earrings for Amanda.

Meanwhile, Amanda's rich ex-boyfriend, Hardy Jenns plots trouble for Keith by inviting him and Amanda to a party after their date. Keith finds out about the plot, believing Amanda to be part of it, but decides to go ahead with the date anyway, spending the rest of his college money on an expensive dinner and roping in Watts (as chauffeur) to help make the date special.

At Hardy's party, the timely arrival of other "misfits" saves Keith from being beaten up. Keith tells Jenns he is "over" her and Amanda slaps Jenns's face.

In the end, Amanda decides that she needs to learn to stand on her own and gives back the earrings that Keith gave to her. Keith then realizes that he is in love with Watts, so he bids Amanda goodbye with a kiss on the cheek, after she encourages him to go after Watts.

Keith catches up to Watts and they kiss and Keith confesses to Watts that he had no idea how she really felt about him & Watts playfully replies to him that he's stupid and that she always knew that he was stupid.

Keith gives Watts the earrings after she admitted she wanted them the whole time, and Keith jokes that Watts knew she was going to get them and she says that she hoped, but she didn't know. Watts asks Keith how they look, and he replies by saying, "You look good wearing my future".


  • Eric Stoltz as Keith Nelson
  • Mary Stuart Masterson as Watts
  • Lea Thompson as Amanda Jones
  • Craig Sheffer as Hardy Jenns
  • John Ashton as Cliff Nelson
  • Elias Koteas as Duncan
  • Molly Hagan as Shayne
  • Maddie Corman as Laura Nelson
  • Jane Elliot as Carol Nelson
  • Candace Cameron as Cindy Nelson
  • Chynna Phillips as Mia
  • Scott Coffey as Ray
  • Carmine Caridi as Museum Guard
  • Lee Garlington as Gym Instructor
  • Pamela Anderson as Party Guest


After being less than thrilled with how his film Pretty in Pink ended, John Hughes decided to rewrite the story and even asking Howard Deutch (who had directed "Pretty in Pink") to direct the new film. Martha Coolidge was originally signed to direct "Some Kind of Wonderful", but she left shortly before production began and was replaced by Deutch.

Hughes also wanted Molly Ringwald to play the female lead role, but she declined the offer because she wanted to pursue more adult roles which Hughes took personally & it ended their working relationship.

Lea Thompson had originally turned down the role, but she her mind when the role was offered to her a second time after the film she had just starred in the 1986 film Howard the Duck.

Elias Koteas was discovered by Hughes auditioning for the 1988 film She's Having a Baby and it was at his suggestion that Koteas would be cast in the role of Duncan. Koteas improvised much of his lines & actions in the movie and in the scene where Duncan puts his head on Amanda's shoulder, Lea Thompson's surprised laugh was real.

Hughes named the three main protagonists of the movie as an inside-joke tribute to the Rolling Stones (Amanda Jones, named after a song of the same name which is played in the film), a drummer named Watts and a character called Keith who was named after Keith Richards).

The role of Keith Nelson was written with actor Eric Stoltz in mind for the part.

Filming began on August 11, 1986 and ended October of 1986. The scenes were filmed in Los Angeles, California at the Hollywood Bowl and the restaurant Koi (which was formerly called L'Ermitage Restaurant located on North La Cienega Boulevard).

The high school scenes were filmed at San Pedro High School and Keith's house was filmed in Wilmington, California.

The extras in the film that played the "bad kids" in the detention scene were actually football players from various high schools in the area & were chosen mostly because they could tower over the actors and look menacing.

Box Office

"Some Kind of Wonderful" debuted at #6 at the box office, grossing $18,553,948 during its opening weekend with an average of $3,222.

Critical Reception

Rotten Tomatoes reported that 80% of critics gave "Some Kind of Wonderful" a positive rating, based on 35 reviews.

Roger Ebert praised the film, calling it "worthwhile and entertaining" while Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated that the movie is the "much-improved, recycled version of the Pretty in Pink story".

Mary Stuart Masterson's performance in the film was singled out for praise by several critics.

However, Richard Schickel from Time criticized it film for being unrealistic.


In 1988, Lea Thompson won the Young Artist Award for "Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama" for her performance in the film.



Some Kind of Wonderful Trailer