In New Jersey, 1978-79, the Nearing family loses Rose Nearing, leaving a husband and two sons reeling with the loss. As the father slips increasingly toward drink and the collegiate older brother toward substance abuse and a career in drug smuggling, youngest son Henry has eyes for Grace, the high school senior class beauty. She reciprocates Henry's interest, despite having a steady boyfriend. What Henry takes for granted is his best friend friendship with Merna, a girl who's been there for him since childhood. Written by
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[caught sneaking home through his bedroom window]
Don't you know it's impolite to enter your son's room without permission?
Why you always sneaking in and out your window?
It's easier for one to just go than to explain where one is going.
And how come you always sound like you're quoting fortune cookies lately?
I think answers always leads to more questions.
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Enjoyable coming-of-age tale, set in 1979, is reminiscent of Hughes' pre-HOME ALONE efforts. A high school senior (Greg Smith) is in shock after his mom's death and begins disengaging from life. His dad (David Morse, sporting a beard and long, scraggly hair) is a hopeless doper and his brother is a chip off the old block. The only thing that keeps him from falling off the face of the earth are the women in his life: childhood pal Merna (Ashley Johnson) and the alluring and slightly crazy Grace Chance (Jordana Brewster). Based on a novel, NEARING GRACE works about half the time. It is far too predictable for anyone who has ever seen a John Hughes flick. Worth a watch, however, for Smith, who is a terrific young actor. Brewster has several semi-nude scenes, but her bony body doesn't match her beautiful face.
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