Jay Hernandez stars as Carlos Nunez, a poor but athletically gifted Latino teenager who endures a two-hour bus ride every day from East L.A. to attend the posh, wealthy Pacific Palisades High School in Los Angeles on a football scholarship. A straight-A student, Carlos is focused and driven, but his future is cast in doubt when he becomes the flirtation target of spoiled, self-destructive bad girl Nicole Oakley (Kirsten Dunst), who's the daughter of a prominent congressman (Bruce Davison). When his friends, family, and even Nicole's own father oppose the romance for Carlos' sake, he chooses to ignore their advice and stubbornly pursues his relationship with Nicole, whose feelings grow from simple physical attraction to something much deeper.
Bruce Davison portrayed Senator Kelly in X-Men (2000) and X-Men 2 (2003). Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man films and Jay Hernandez played Diablo in Suicide Squad (2016). See more »
When Matty picks Nicole up for school, the cameraman's reflection is visible on the car's window. See more »
You can be anywhere where when your life begins. You meet the right person and anything is possible.
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The film was submitted five times to the MPAA to achieve a PG-13 instead of a R rating. See more »
Much like The Karate Kid caught a lot of people off-guard by its charm, likeability, and believability -- not the action aspect so much as the romance between Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue -- crazy/beauti
The reason would be the two leads, Kirsten Dunst (Interview with the Vampire, Bring It On) and Jay Hernandez (only having done a handful of TV and small movie work). What looks like the set-up of a cliché-filled storyline on the outside -- high-schoolers Dunst as the troubled daughter of a U.S. Senator, and Hernandez as the intelligent inner-city kid meet up and fall in love -- takes on a fresh twist (and "fresh" is a good thing -- especially in film today). With the dialogue seeming mostly improvisational, the romance is impressively convincing. Dunst is already familiar to film audiences -- making great strides at a very young age with Vampire -- but this could arguably be her finest turn. You do feel something for her character, as screwed up as she can be. But even "screwed up" people need love, too, and you do want her to succeed. And good performances apparently rubbed off on Hernandez as well, giving sensational insight into a conflicted character torn between duty to family and education versus his love for Dunst. The story does take a turn for the... well... crazy near the end but recovers nicely -- and without being too preachy or schmaltzy. Don't expect greatness, but don't be shocked if you like it.
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