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In New Jersey, 1978-79, the Nearing family loses Rose Nearing, leaving a husband and two sons reeling with the loss. As the father slips increasingly toward drink and the collegiate older brother toward substance abuse and a career in drug smuggling, youngest son Henry has eyes for Grace, the high school senior class beauty. She reciprocates Henry's interest, despite having a steady boyfriend. What Henry takes for granted is his best friend friendship with Merna, a girl who's been there for him since childhood.Written by
Enjoyable coming-of-age tale, set in 1979, is reminiscent of Hughes' pre-HOME ALONE efforts. A high school senior (Greg Smith) is in shock after his mom's death and begins disengaging from life. His dad (David Morse, sporting a beard and long, scraggly hair) is a hopeless doper and his brother is a chip off the old block. The only thing that keeps him from falling off the face of the earth are the women in his life: childhood pal Merna (Ashley Johnson) and the alluring and slightly crazy Grace Chance (Jordana Brewster). Based on a novel, NEARING GRACE works about half the time. It is far too predictable for anyone who has ever seen a John Hughes flick. Worth a watch, however, for Smith, who is a terrific young actor. Brewster has several semi-nude scenes, but her bony body doesn't match her beautiful face.
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