The Wild Life

The Wild Life is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Art Linson and written by Cameron Crowe. The film stars Chris Penn, Lea Thompson, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Jenny Wright, Eric Stoltz, Rick Moranis, Hart Bochner, and Randy Quaid.


The plot concerns three teenagers living in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Bill has just graduated from high school and got his first apartment. His younger brother Jim, who is fixated on Vietnam and the Vietnam war, spends a lot of time practicing with his Nunchakus, getting high, listening to heavy metal on his boombox, and hanging out with Vietnam vet Charlie. Other important characters include Tom, a hedonistic high-school wrestling champ who works with Bill at a bowling alley; Harry, a trendy department store manager; Anita, Bill's ex-girlfriend who works at a donut shop; and Eileen, Anita's friend and Tommy's girlfriend who works at the department store with Harry. Anita has a fling with a cop named David, who, unknown to Anita, is married. The three boys set out for a night of fun and craziness at a strip bar and later on have a party at Bill's apartment.