Stillwater, Minnesota: Erik (Renfro) lives alone with his sourpuss mom Gail (Scarwid). He's bored. Next door is Dexter (Mazzello), who has AIDS. The two 11-year-olds have never met - Gail's too bigoted - but that doesn't stop the lads at school from dubbing Erik 'homo' and generally cramping his social options. So he figures, what the hell, may as well jump over the fence and strike up a friendship; next thing, the pair are inseparable. Gail finds out, threatens to take Erik away, and so the boys board a raft for a wholly irresponsible escapade, heading downriver to New Orleans where, claims a National Examiner headline, a Dr Fishburne has found a miracle cure for AIDS. A first feature from a 'thirty-something' actor: well played, lots of jaunty episodes, unobtrusively squidgy emotions, a good cry at the end. The real weakness arises from the weepie format itself. There's never any ambition here to delve into those more interesting facets of the story littered around its edges. Avoids the worst excesses of mawkishness, but essentially just the usual mix of life-affirming, flabby humanist hogwash.
Cast and crew