Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure is the movie that made Keanu Reeves a star, but also saddled him with a dumb-dude persona that took him a few years (and movies) to shake off, possibly because he is so spot-on as a spaced-out California teen that everyone forgot he was acting!
Reeves and Winter star as Ted and Bill, two aspiring rock musicians (their band is called Wyld Stallyns) living in San Dimas who have to write a history paper about how various characters in history would view life in their town in 1988 – a problem when you learn they think Caesar is ‘that salad dressing dude’ and Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. Luckily for them, a mysterious phone booth has just popped up, along with time traveller Rufus (George Carlin), and they are soon travelling across time, picking up historical figures (Socrates, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Freud) to help them with their project.
It’s bonkers stuff, peppered with infectious Valley-speak (‘party on, dude’, ‘bodacious’ and ‘excellent!’ briefly became teen catchphrases), dopey dialogue (‘I’m Dr Freud, but you can call me Siggy’) and all the cool teen stuff that grown-ups just don’t get. Brilliant… or should that be excellent!
Is Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...