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In the summer of 1965, strict high-school Westwood's senior class in its privileged white suburb of L.A. graduates. Their relief to get out of the oppressive model of 'good American' behavior none actually adopted is soon spoiled. Surfer boy George Jr. 'Stick' is enlisting as volunteer for Vietnam, which is portrayed as a 'police action', panics on his last evening. Academic weakling Pirate, who intended to dodge a draft as drifter, suddenly faces the pregnancy of his lifelong true love Sunny. A spoiled 'princess' (also narrator) bitches because her parents want her to attend UCLA, not 'revolutionary' Berkeley. Calvin, the only black mate, lives in the poor quarter Watts, where the majority of his race plunders and attacks everyone, including class poet Michael Finnegan, whose family treated Calvin as an adopted son. Finnegan decides to symbolically deal with the hated school principal's patriotic pride, the Soldier statue... Written by
"There Goes My Baby" (title of a 1965 song) is one of the many movies that deals with the end of an era in this case: the American innocence established between the end of WWII and the murder of President Kennedy. The movie shows us the last day and evening of the class of '65 where the boys and girls are together before they take off to the real world i.c. college, tour of duty in Vietnam, discovering the real America by car, becoming a music-star or a member of the flower-power movement in San Francisco... Each of these students have their hopes and dreams. Each character represents a different aspect of the American society. At the end of the movie not many dreams have come true. The difficulty of this kind of movie is that there are several students that are being followed so each story is very thin spread during the course of the movie. There is no real depth of caracter or background. The movie never explains why these students act the way they act or what their motive is to do something. Nevertheless the performance and drive of each actor is superb especially Dermot Mulroney, Rick Schroder and pre-E.R. Noah Wyle. They are all very convincing in their role and they glue very well together. A great asset of this film is the use of the music from 1965. Dialogue is not needed because the songs of that era say it with more passion and determination than any scripted dialogue could ever do. This movie is a-must-see for everyone who wants to know how it was in 1965 when America lost her innocence. After seeing this movie it seems that the golden sixties were never that golden and the youth had as much trouble as they have today! Highly recommended.
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