Like a fine merlot and a cheeseburger, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989) and "Encino Man" (1992) make a surprisingly good pairing for a podcast double feature. Both films feature characters from the past suddenly introduced to the present as hilarity ensues. Both introduce male friendships that are warm and supportive. And, like most comedies of the time, both feature scenes in malls.
However, "Encino Man" remains burdened by something that "Bill and Ted" is refreshingly devoid of: a toxic main character. Sean Astin -- known for playing sweet, loveable underdogs -- stars as David, a deeply unlikeable high school senior who mistreats his friends and stalks another student. Fortunately, Pauly Shore's charming Stoney and Brendan Fraser's delightful Link make up for that unpleasantness, prompting both Sarah and Raf to wish these two had their own movie together.
Likewise, the friendship between the titular characters of "Bill and Ted" is lovely to see, as it's nearly devoid of toxic masculinity. The hosts are surprised at how much of the movie remains endearing, even more than 30 years later. (Quips Sarah, “That was my introduction to Bill & Ted: knowing nothing about it and just being told ‘You’ll like it,’ and then walking out and being like ‘I’m going to love Keanu Reeves for the rest of my life.'”) So grab your phone book -- or look up what a phone book was -- and get ready for a fast-paced journey of hilarious historical hijinks.
(TW: discussion of sexual assault)