Follows three screwed up young people and their equally screwed up parents in the age of CBGB's, yuppies and the tinderbox of gentrification that exploded into the Tompkins Square Park Riots in New York's East Village in the 1980s.
There are two actresses in this movie whom Asa Butterfield previously worked with: Emily Mortimer (Hugo) and Hailee Steinfeld (Ender's Game). See more »
What did you mean when you said you were here to kidnap me?
I'm rescuing you. Taking you to the Big Apple.
And why would I go with you?
I'm offering you Manhattan, champ. Don't play hard to get.
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Written by Paul Rodgers (as Paul Rodger)
Performed by Bad Company
Courtesy of Atco Records / Elektra Entertainment Group
By arrangement with Warner Music Froup Film & TV Licensing See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n Roll not just a bumper sticker, but also frequent and fun movie topics. Throw in 1980's New York City, some excruciatingly dysfunctional parenting, and the coming-of-age struggles of three youngsters, and you have the latest from co-writers and co-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (the real life couple behind American Splendor, 2003).
Based on the novel from Eleanor Henderson, it's a nostalgic trip with little of the positive connotations usually associated with that term. The surprisingly deep cast features Ethan Hawke and Julianne Nicholson (August: Osage County, 2013) as parents to son Jude played by Asa Butterfield (Hugo, 2011). Emily Mortimer plays Hawke's new girlfriend and mother to Eliza played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, 2010). Avan Jogia plays Jude's best friend Teddy, and Emile Hirsch is Teddy's big brother Johnny. It's an unusually high number of flawed characters who come together in a story that features some familiar coming-of-age moments, yet still manages to keep our interest.
The story centers on Jude as he comes to terms with finding out he's adopted, works to overcome his less than stellar parents, and spends an inordinate amount of time finding new ways to experiment with drugs. One night changes everything as it leads to a tragic end for one character and pregnancy for Eliza. Ms. Steinfeld is extraordinary as Eliza and really makes an impressive step from child actress to young adult. Julianne Nicholson is also a standout, and Ethan Hawke provides some offbeat comic relief.
So many elements of 1980's New York are included, and no effort is made to add any touches of glamour. The Tompkins Square park riots also play a role, if only briefly as the key characters realize life is just not so simple a consistent theme for both kids and parents. The fragility of life is always an interesting topic, and the filmmakers bring this to light through some characters that we feel like we know and wish we could help.
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