With only a week left before graduation, a young dreamer itches to renounce an uninspiring scholarship, stand up to his despotic father and pursue a career in oceanography. But, has anyone ever spread his wings away from Grandview, U.S.A.?
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With only a week left before he graduates high school in the small Middle Western community of Grandview, the eighteen-year-old dreamer, Tim Pearson, is itching to renounce an uninspiring scholarship, stand up to his despotic father and pursue a career in oceanography, away from home. However, before long, an unexpected meeting with the struggling 27-year-old owner of the town's demolition derby track on the other side of the tracks, Michelle "Mike" Cody, and the Speedrome's king, Ernie "Slam" Webster, will bring Tim one step closer not only to his aspirations but also love. But, has anyone ever spread his wings away from Grandview, U.S.A.?Written by
Observant touches and crazy-romantic characters more interesting than the plot
Tender-but-tough divorcée, the struggling owner of an outdoor demolition derby arena in small town Illinois, is faced with a $10,000 upgrade from the county; one of the commissioners is trying to get her property cheap so he can build a country club on the spot, but is unaware his teenage son has a crush on the older woman, who is also being courted by her star-driver. Surprisingly complicated character-driven film from director Randal Kleiser, he of the hits "Grease" and "The Blue Lagoon". Working from Ken Hixon's mercurial script, Kleiser hands a wonderful role to top-billed Jamie Lee Curtis, who finally gets to show off an appealing range (it's one of her tightest performances). As her underage paramour, C. Thomas Howell is still doing his puppy dog bit (soulful eyes and trembling bottom lip), however Patrick Swayze is terrific as the macho star involved in an all-out war with his cheating wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh, convincing as an unrepentant tramp). Just as good as the younger players is Ramon Bieri as Howell's father; the under-appreciated actor stews in realistic exasperation with his kids, and Kleiser is careful not to mock him (the father's actions aren't fully considered, but we are able to perceive the man's character in Bieri's weary eyes and seasoned face). What doesn't work are the dream sequences/music videos which appear to be included to appeal to the teen market. This isn't another horny boy-meets-older woman hick-comedy, though it was advertised as such. The film has more on its mind than cheap thrills, and the actors seem to relish in their opportunities. **1/2 from ****
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