Adapted by Dan Wakefield from his 1970 novel, this is a spirited coming-of-age drama with a difference. For one thing, dealing with young men returning from war to the claustrophobic conformity of their families, it's concerned with the rift between different generations of adults, their ideas and aspirations. For another, while the story is set in 1954 among the Christian folk of Indianapolis, the film is as frankly libidinous and angst-ridden as any present-day equivalent. Confused, anxiously hormonal Sonny Burns (Davies) and self-confidant high school jock 'Gunner' Casselman (Affleck), whose experiences in the Far East have shown him the merits of thinking for himself, become friends - to the dismay of Sonny's apple-pie mom (Clayburgh) - and hang together through encounters with a succession of women. Part satire and part confessional memoir, the film is stronger on period flavour and Sonny's inner demons than on the humanity of some of the other characters. The leading men never quite show us the essence of their unlikely friendship.
Cast and crew
Lesley Ann Warren