Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.
The Secaucus 7 of the film's title are seven friends who, during their college days, were arrested in New Jersey on their way to a protest in Washington. The film takes place ten years after all that, as the friends gather at the home of Mike and Katie, now schoolteachers in New Hampshire, bringing with them old problems and new: Maura has left Jeff and seeks consolation with his best friend, J.T.; J.T., arguably the least successful of the friends, finally gets the courage to move to Los Angeles to start a career as a songwriter; Irene brings her new boyfriend along, hoping he'll like and be liked by her friends and expecting them to challenge him for his more-conservative politics; and more. This is the film that inspired "The Big Chill."Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
Camera shadow on the ground during the basketball game when JT falls down. See more »
[Jeff is detailing his previous arrests to a booking policeman]
And that was for conspiracy to riot. Charges dropped. September 12, '69 for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest. Charges dropped. December 24, '69, inciting to riot. Charges dropped. August of '70 for lobbying in Kentucky. Charges dropped. Five arrests, all in Kentucky, in '71, for possession, "suspicion" of possession of a controlled substance. Charges dropped. Want the dates? And then March 5, '73, indicted for destruction ...
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This is what good moviemaking is about. If you are looking for million-dollar cost overruns, over-rated movie stars, the same crop of (yawn) "special" effects and trite action-movie plots and dialog, look elsewhere. This is young John Sayles doing his absolute best with limited resources. The characters are realistic, the dialog brilliant yet believable and the script does an excellent job of handling the subject of not only growing up, but growing older with a bittersweet sense of humor.
For years I heard this film described as The Big Chill only three years earlier. A pretty accurate description. The plot and characters are similar, but Return of the Secaucus 7 has more layers, and provides more random "slice of life" scenes. Whilst watching this film, you can't help the feeling you know these people, or someone like them. Sayles manages to prove that real life situations can be interesting, funny and touching; unexpected moments can start a chain of life-altering events.
The New Hampshire scenery is beautiful nice to see something shot anywhere other than NYC or a Hollywood back lot. A testament to friendship, fun and low-budget filmmaking.
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