This story of four working-class kids in a small industrial town--who go their separate ways after high school in the innocence of 1961 and come together again at the end of the turbulent ...
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Gian Maria Volontè
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Jennifer Jason Leigh,
This story of four working-class kids in a small industrial town--who go their separate ways after high school in the innocence of 1961 and come together again at the end of the turbulent Sixties--is as much about the coming of age of America as it is about the changes the characters go through. The four friends of the title are thoughtful Danilo, a Yugoslavian immigrant with dreams of being a writer and a scholar; Tom, good-looking and athletic, who is bound for the army; cautious David who has mixed feelings about staying in town and joining the family mortuary business; and lovely, ditzy, exasperating Georgia, who tries to inspire all of them with her longings for a life of Bohemian adventure. It is told through the eyes of Danilo, whose story is loosely based on the writer Tesich's own life growing up in Bloomington, Indiana. Written by
Filmed on the campus of Northwestern University (Evanston IL). See more »
Danilo watches Apollo 11 moonwalk on TV at Tom's house in the afternoon. In reality, the moonwalk began at shortly before 11 pm Eastern Daylight time. This would be 10pm in the Central time zone, well after dark in the Chicago area (even in July). See more »
Screenwriter Steve Tesich's sophomore effort (following upon the wildly overpraised BREAKING AWAY) is a compendium of clichés, coincidence, and dour melodrama. Perhaps he lived some of this; if so, I'm sorry to say he was inexplicably unable to dramatize any of it convincingly.
In fairness, he's not helped much here by Arthur Penn, a talented director who's done remarkable work in the past (BONNIE AND CLYDE, LITTLE BIG MAN), but fails to inject any energy or verisimilitude into Tesich's narrative.
The cast struggles as best they can but are saddled with weak motivation and dialogue. Sympathies should be reserved particularly for Craig Wasson, whose morose performance presages the impending quick fade of his leading man career, as well as the embarrassingly untethered Jodi Thelen, miscast as the film's extremely unlikely 'femme fatale.'
It all seems longer than it is, and any points made are heavy-handed and obvious. See Arthur Penn's earlier take on the subject of the 60's, the droll and elegiac ALICE'S RESTAURANT; it's everything this one isn't.
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