License 2 Drive: A Tale of Two Coreys

The other day I found myself going down the rabbit hole that is YouTube, when I stumbled across this little gem:

Ascension Millennium is the new single from Corey Feldman, which is a 5 minute spiritual and physical magical mystery tour through the cultural epicenter known only as the “Feldmansion”. The Beatles penned A Day in the Life, and now the lesser (yet still living) Corey takes we the people on a similar journey, though with possibly less fanfare than that of the Fab Four.

It got me thinking back to a time when the two Coreys – Haim and he of the Feldmansion – were important figures in my life, and I suspect the lives of many other like me.

I remember when I first saw License to Drive and the impact that it had on my 12-year-old brain. Les Anderson, portrayed with gusto by Canadian thespian Corey Haim, is a fantastic driver but, due to circumstances beyond his control, is unable to pass his driving test.

A glitch at the DMV results in Les getting his license, though this small victory proves to be short-lived and he is desperate and driveless almost as quickly as a heavily made-up She-Dragon at the DMV can rip your license (and your heart) apart in one foul swoop.

Undeterred, Les defies the laws and drives unlicensed anyway. Les kept it real. He wanted the big prize: a young Mercedes Lane, played by the completely gorgeous Heather Graham.

He needed to woo her and only a valid license and decent set of wheels would get it done. Like every other 1980s teen movie, Mercedes is naturally dating the wrong kind of man: older, vaguely European (actual origin unclear based on awful Pan-Euro accent attempt), overcoat and thick dark mane that resists all natural breeze and air conditioning.

I won’t bore you with the details of the second and third acts, I’m sure if you haven’t seen the film you could find it somehow, and besides, this isn’t a film review in its traditional form.

This is a confession.

Years ago, possibly even as many as fifteen, I started to pen a screenplay for a sequel to License to Drive. This is not a joke, or as stand-up comedians refer to as “a bit”. This actually happened. At the time, the Corey’s had lost their luster and Hollywood had long since chewed them up and spat them out, like so many before them. Yesterday’s heroes had quickly become the punchline du jour. By the mid-90s they were starring in straight-to-video trash; D-level sequels to past hits in a desperate attempt to regain a semblance of their fleeting fame, if only for a brief sad moment. Or maybe to fund their burgeoning habits. Actually, habit – not plural. Bloated Boy doesn’t want a lawsuit. Haim had the drug problem, Feldman was clean as far as I am aware (his dubious relationship with little-known 1980s popstar Michael Jackson notwithstanding). So while the pair were positively slumming it in Dream a Little Dream 2: Dream Harder, I was taking it upon myself to pen a screenplay that would surely vault them back to the lofty heights that they’d grown accustomed to back in the Reagan years.

But it wasn’t to be. I got as far as the title – License 2 Drive: Corey’s Reloaded, which I later changed to License 2 Drive: A Tale of Two Corey’s – and a vague plot. It was to be set in the current day, which back when I wrote it meant Les and Feldman’s Dean would be in their mid-to-late twenties in the film. Les and Mercedes ended up getting engaged but she broke off the engagement, claiming that Les’ ever increasing dependency on high-grade (and highly illegal) pharmaceuticals had caused too big a rift for them to continue on. Devastated, Les seeks solace in an old friend. Enter Dean. Les and Dean have not spoken since a few months after the events of the original film, due to an unfortunate (and all too common) case of the green-eyed monster. Dean felt slighted by all the time Les and Mercedes were spending together, and felt that Les didn’t care to salvage the dying friendship.

Time being a healer of most wounds, Les and Dean swiftly put their differences behind them and forge ever forward, their bond strengthening by the day. Dean has fallen on hard times himself, his once-promising music career stalled suddenly over the eighteen months, which has caused tension at home. His marriage under threat, and Les’ over before it began, the two Coreys conjure up a plan to rewrite history and ensure a better tomorrow for themselves.

Using Dean’s connections at Universal Studios in Hollywood, the pair break into the lot and steal the DeLorean from the Back to the Future trilogy. Les and Dean are many things to many people, boffins not among their labels. They are, for all intents and purposes, dumbshits. But they are endearing and charming in their own unique way, which counts for something in Hollywood. Without a Doc Brown at their beck and call, the two heroes must somehow generate the required 1.21 gigawatts of power to engage the Flux Capacitor and get the DeLorean to 88 MPH and back to the 1980’s to rewrite their wrongs. And that’s where I came unstuck/lost interest in the project. I lived almost 9,500 miles from the movie factory in the City of Angels. It was a pipe dream at best.

Prior to Haim’s death, the pair featured in an apparently scripted reality series called The Coreys. I’ve only seen snippets on YouTube, but from what I can gather they spent most of their time squabbling like an old married couple:

How the mighty had fallen.

I now wish I had given more consideration to the screenplay back then, to give them the swan song they so very clearly deserved. They needed to be put back on the map.

As C-Feld said himself way back when:

“I’m more than an actor. I’m an icon, an industry.”