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Susan Saint James,
After escaping the insane asylum in which he was incarcerated, Jerry Blake (Terry O'Quinn) impersonates a marriage counselor and manages to win over a patient (Meg Foster) and her young son (Jonathan Brandis).
Rebellious football player Johnny falls for cheerleader Tracy. They come from opposite backgrounds; she's from a comfortable well off family, his is poor and broken. Tracy already has a boyfriend but he acts like a jerk, so Johnny has to win Tracy's heart - something she seems reluctant to let him do.Written by
A great 80's film that sums up the feeling of the decade
I'll admit I love this film. Quite a bit of the dialog doesn't make any sense; some of the characters are just there to hang the plot from; and Cliff DeYoung as the football coach gets most of the bad lines and his character, as well as the snotty cheerleaders, are all clichés. But these flaws don't detract from the appeal of the film.
Darryl Hannah, and Aidan Quinn in particular, have a presence and a chemistry that keeps the film vibrant and alive. This was Quinn's first film, and I've liked him ever since I first saw it. Even as a novice he's a great actor. Hannah is not as good as he, but she's still very good as a well-to-do high school senior who's looking for something different but not sure what she wants. Quinn plays the misunderstood poor boy with an alcoholic father, who is beset by teachers, father, peers and police every way he turns. Due to a random pairing for a charity dance, they are brought together and eventually discover that what they are looking for is in each other. The last shot of the film, as the camera speeds down the highway to Bob Seger's "Roll Me Away", is one of my favorite shots of any movie. I'll agree it's corny, but it works and so does this film.
The authentic steel-town atmosphere also helps to give the film a gritty realism; dark, smoggy, atmospheric and disturbing, it reminds me of the feel of the 80's. The soundtrack is superb; Romeo Void, INXS, and Kim Wilde's "Kids in America." Whenever I want to recapture that 80's feeling, when watching MTV was still new and exciting and they still played music you could take pleasure in listening to, and when the 80's groups were so avant-garde and on-the-edge, I watch this film. Sure enough, it can take me right back. Look past the sometimes inane dialog and be sure to catch this film; if you immerse yourself in the music it will work its spell.
It hasn't been shown on on regular cable in years (it's rated R for some candid but convincing sex scenes), but in mid-2005 it was playing on the high definition cable channel INHD, looking and sounding fantastic, so it does show up occasionally. Warner Archive (http://www.warnerarchive.com) now (2011) offers it for sale as an "on demand," widescreen DVD. A great film for Friday or Saturday night, and don't forget to turn the volume way up!
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