On the audio commentary track recorded with novelist / screenwriter Cameron Crowe and director Amy Heckerling for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Crowe take a couple minutes to praise Jonathan Kaplan's Over the Edge and its influence on him when conceiving Fast Times.
Indeed, there are some visual, aural, and thematic similarities shared by these two classic portrayals of suburban youth of the late '70s. Although filmed in late 1981 and released the following Summer, Fast Times still seems to belong more to the '70s, which is appropriate given its roots go back to 1979, the year Crowe went undercover at Claremont High School, outside San Diego.
This video marries Crowe's comments to some of those elements present in both films. Robert Romanus and Michael Kramer, who feature prominently in this video, share a rememblance: