Can’t Buy Me Love (film) High school senior Ronald Miller longs to be popular and comes up with a unique plan—he hires the most popular cheerleader in school, Cindy Mancini, to be his girlfriend. Ronald is transformed almost overnight from nerd to the most popular guy on campus, but he does not notice when Cindy develops a real affection for him. Released on August 14, 1987. Directed by Steve Rash. A Touchstone film. 94 min. Stars Patrick Dempsey (Ronald Miller), Amanda Peterson (Cindy Mancini), Dennis Dugan (David Miller), Courtney Gains (Kenneth Wurman). Filmed entirely in Tucson, Arizona, with Tucson High School becoming the school in the movie. Hundreds of the students there got a chance to show off their acting talents as extras. Released on video in 1988.