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Free-spirited fifteen-year-old Connie Wyatt may be too young to drive, but she's already driving the boys crazy. Her suspicious mother wants to keep her safely at home, but Connie would rather while away the languid summer days hanging out with her friends and flirting with boys at the local burger stand. But when she flirts with a handsome and dangerous stranger named Arnold Friend, she must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences. Based on the short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates.Written by
Eric Zuckerman <email@example.com>
Although filmed in Northern California, the look of the film was also meant to be infused with East Coast imagery, based on Director Joyce Chopra and Writer Tom Cole's home of Kent, CT. Additional inspiration came from photographer Joel Meyerowitz's 1979 book Cape Light, a collection of images from Cape Cod, MA. A scene in the film where Connie hides from Friend in her home's hallway was specifically modeled after one of Meyerowitz's photos. See more »
When the girls are looking across the street at Franks drive-in we see the gold Pontiac already in the lot, easy to pick out due to the left brake light being out. Then we hear the car coming down the road and see it turn into the parking lot, also sporting the non working light. See more »
I look at you. I look right in your eyes... and all I see are a bunch of trashy daydreams.
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PBS edited 2 minutes from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »
This film showed the arrival of Laura Dern, one of the most gifted actresses of her generation, to full realization. Under Joyce Chopra's direction, Ms. Dern proved she could carry this picture, as well as any other, just on the strength of her portrayal of Connie, the rebellious California teen ager, who experiences life and cruelty in ways she never expected.
If anything, the film might send some viewers to read some of Joyce Carol Oates novels for she is an original and important voice in American letters. Ms. Joyce is a prolific and generous writer who shows a sensibility toward young women in trouble, as it was the case with her magnificent "We Were the Mulvaneys", among other novels.
When we first meet Connie, she seems to be a careless teen ager from rural California, hanging in the local mall with her best friends Jill and Laura. There is trouble at home. Connie is a rebel and her relationship with her mother, Katherine, is not exactly the best. Connie is seen with Laura experiencing with local boys the rituals of flirting.
Connie gets much more than what she bargains for, when the mysterious Arnold Friend keeps turning at the hamburger joint where she hangs out with Laura. Arnold is a creepy individual who, being older, and more experienced man in matters of sex, shows up one Sunday, while her family is away, to entice the young girl with his "smooth talk". This long sequence shows Connie as the vulnerable young woman she is, accosted by a young man intent in getting what he wants.
To say that Laura Dern is perfect in the film, is not to do her justice. She is the whole movie. Her expressions, her reactions, are nothing short of what one would expect from a young woman in the same situation. Treat Williams makes a great appearance as the menacing Arnold. Mary Kay Place, as the mother is also good, as well as the rest of the ensemble playing cast.
Joyce Chopra shows she is a director who likes to takes risks by creating an original film out of Ms. Oates short story.
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