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Fred Dalton Thompson
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Jay O. Sanders,
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Derivative But Still Has Merit. It Doesn't Aim High & Doesn't Fall Flat
This movie is derivative in that we've seen this crowd of kids and type of movie before ala "Big Chill", "American Graffiti" and even a little "Donny Darko" and "River's Edge" too. Here are some high school buddies from a middle class suburban California town who went to the same lame middle class suburban Catholic jock high school, the home of the "Crusaders" the team the destructive jock of the trio played on. One of their mates dies in some silly drunken swimming accident and they all re-unite to relive their aimless cruising, partying and soft core punkish ways for a long weekend.
i won't bore you with another synopsis but what I liked about it was that there was no real big arc. It avoided melodrama like extreme violence or major drug overdose, but we watched the jock who is now a stoner drunk provoke a fist fight over nothing. The sensitive one gets dumped but he meets up again with the school beauty, natch named Kelly, and they seem to be going somewhere. The golden boy college lady's man hooks up with a senior in the aforementioned high school for cheap car sex while she snorts coke and tells him how she had a crush on him when she was a freshman. They all have some darker issues that we get introduced too but they are handled in a low key way. Of course, the audience will relate to the suburban cruising, wasting and meeting the girls stuff, but that is not the focus of it either. There is some FM AOR DJ who provides the mood over the weekend too, but not like the Wolfman. There is a quiet desperation about it that gets expressed appropriately since none of these guys are suffering too much nor act like it, but they are unhappy for various reasons.
The best part is that there is no magic or tragic ending to it, come Monday when they all go their separate ways, their lives haven't magically or tragically changed but they did have some fun and get some insight into their conditions a bit more. It aimed about chest level and that is where it stuck. Nothing really special but a good solid movie about aimless grads re-uniting.
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