A few years ago, LOVEFiLM, Europe’s largest film and TV subscription service, asked their subscribers to share the movie scenes they’ve paused on the most. The answers were predictably accurate, in that they were either sexy (Sharon Stone’s leg crossing in Basic Instinct), bloopery (the Stormtrooper hitting his head on the door in Star Wars), or easter eggy (the Pac-Man cameo in Tron), with one exception: the lack of love for the greatest, the most important, THE sexiest movie scene of the 1980s. I’m of course talking about Phoebe Cates. *cue the Cars*
That scene from Fast Times from Ridgemont High continues on, obviously, but we can’t exactly embed the GIF, as if you didn’t already know how it ends. The fact that Cates’ fantasy ascension out of the pool (and her bathing suit), and in real life, into the bathroom, where she comes upon Judge Reinhold pleasuring himself to her beauty, isn’t the most paused movie moment of all-time means the British are goddamn liars, or…no, it definitely means the British are goddamn liars. Either that, or teenage boys in the U.K. learned to, ahem, “explore” to Benny Hill clips.
Today, Cates, who would later star in both Gremlins movies and Princess Caraboo, her last film before retiring from acting after meeting her now-husband Kevin Kline (with the exception of 2001’s The Anniversary Party, a favor she did for her friend Jennifer Jason Leigh), turns 50 years old, which, I know, right? Still gorgeous, too.
She was Alison Brie before Alison Brie, and for that, she’s a timeless treasure, no matter what the British say.
(That last one’s every teenage boy’s favorite photo of Cates.)