Right from the start, it's clear that the young eponymous hero (Pitt) is madly in love with suede shoes, Ricky Nelson's songs, his plans to become a rock'n'roll idol, the romantic notion of finding a dream girl, and - most of all - himself. So when, after a flattering fling with alarmingly changeable damsel in distress Darlette (Moir), Johnny meets the more down-to-earth Yvonne (Keener), you know he'll finally have to choose between his immature fantasies and the love of a good woman. On to this slim, slightly moralistic fable, DiCillo grafts an appealing veneer of droll slow-burn humour, wacky caricature, and pseudo-hip posing. Much of what is said and done is deliberately and delightfully absurd. But the movie is saved from becoming too knowingly flip not only by DiCillo's sure sense of pace and mood, but by the performances; especially Keener, who displays a fine mix of strength, savvy and vulnerability.
Cast and crew
Samuel L Jackson