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You're a Big Boy Now
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Reviews & Ratings for
You're a Big Boy Now More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sophomore Days

7/10
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States
2 May 2011

At its most beneficial now as a fun time watching Francis Ford Coppola be a kid his first time in the sandbox on the ground floor of New Hollywood, this adolescent wet dream---in that it's a great time but not terribly memorable---is a young example of the modern story of a young man's anxious initiation into the big world as well as of the imminent counterculture awareness, not owing to a concentration on drugs or long hair but the insertion of the up-and-coming music, the hottest dance fads, and crisp social attitudes. As with The Graduate, there is the sensation of driving for something new other than the conformist, disappointing world of the socially safe adults. By now, though, we've hopefully become tired of the increasingly low common denominator movies about the induction of horny young men into the mores of sex. But first of all, this light, quirky sophomore directorial effort---following his requisite Roger Corman warm-up debut---was the pioneer of the bunch.

In late 1966, Coppola was a wunderkind green out of UCLA, and at the same time his second film is of the most base, commercial genre, it reflects Coppola's more scholarly influences, incorporating self-reflexive formal strategies originally conceived of in the European New Waves, and thus, well received by critics and the public alike. This, I think, is at the hub of most "new waves" in this country's cinema. Tarantino and Rodriguez made debuts twenty-five years later by taking on marketable genre plot exercises by fueling them an inimitable mix of influences from their encyclopedic knowledge of cinema. Their favorite genres were of the raw, gritty grind house era that was to take advantage of the breaking of ground and opening of doors Coppola and his peers were revving up to do when he came onto the scene with You're a Big Boy Now.

This and The Graduate, the more mature film that would follow, concern young men and older women. They both spring much entertainment from the nebbishy youth's blunders, before the luckless boys quickly finish botching up and triumph over this chump called virginity. Nichols served Buck Henry's sharp, sophisticated, understated screenplay by creating the most refined comic atmosphere with brilliant cinematography. Coppola, rather, simply enjoys himself as director, and his film is awash with recycled sight gags, lively performances and a spirited soundtrack by the Lovin' Spoonful. I can't decide whether he's a kid in the sandbox his first time behind the camera or a bull in a china shop, as filmmakers are when they are passionately in love with the films they grew up with, the filmmaking process and film, period.

The bungling young man this time is Peter Kastner. He's ambushed consecutively by a cartoonishly emasculating string a caricatured female types: a don't-wear-shoes-after-Labor-Day-style mother, a jazzy landlady and a chops-busting brunet. Doubted by his father and deeply wounded by one of the sexy trifecta, in due course he's on speaking terms solely with the family dog, named Dog. Yeah. It's hit or miss. Coppola is often too self-conscious about being charming. His hero is too blameless and starry-eyed. The plot is too random. Mike Nichols was able to illustrate in The Graduate exactly how many promises this broad premise makes, and was also able to do that with such masterful restraint and technique. But hey, before Mike Nichols' masterpiece, how was anyone to see that? Meanwhile, we're entrusted with the query of how perfectly decent, attractive fellows like Big Boy and Benjamin manage to reach their mid-20s in such far-along phases of inexperience. Maybe they drone bemusing little maxims to themselves and keep busy with work and studies until they're assailed by the Mrs. Robinsons of the world. I can see how that was the prevailing male fantasy in media back then, and why shows and movies have continued to have a shade of underdog in their young male romantic leads in the ensuing generations, from these guys to the John Cusack, John Hughes and spring break movies, to Jason Biggs' penetrating breakthrough role, to the Judd Apatow comedies of today.

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2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Are you kidding?!

Author: sugar-bear from Anywhere
2 December 2004

This movie was very boring and made really no kind of sense to me at all. It's about this ugly, gap-toothed, 19 year old guy who doesn't know much about girls and when he moves out on his own, he decides to see what girls are like. He walks around Times Square and ends up at a peep show. Elizabeth Hartman plays an actress who's also a go-go dancer in whom the ugly guy gets a crush on after watching her dance at a club one day. She decides to mess with his mind by inviting him to move in with her and gives him some what of a thrill that night(Don't worry nothing happens she just turns out the lights, kisses him and then dumps him the next day. I just knew she wouldn't go that far). She then begins to date the ugly guy's friend whom she eventually dumps as well. You can tell she's an insecure person who loves to mess with guy's minds and then dump them. At the end the ugly guy ends up getting together with this cross-eyed chick who's had a huge crush on him throughout the whole movie. Thank God Elizabeth Hartman is my favorite actress. Otherwise I would've stopped watching this movie about 20 mins after it started. It was a bore!!!

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0 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Smokiest Movie of All Time

Author: hfan77
25 July 2000

I saw it about 15-20 years ago and I really enjoyed it except for one thing, most of the characters smoked. If a movie like this was made today, it would draw a lot of fire from the American Cancer Society. To me, it was one of the smokiest movies I've ever seen.

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