William (Winter Kills) Richert's rites of passage movie is based on a novel he wrote 20 years ago when he was 19. Set in Chicago in 1962, it's narrated by the eponymous hero (Phoenix), a socially-ambitious 17-year-old from the wrong side of the tracks, who models himself on Dean, Kerouac and Casanova. The film charts a crucial few days, between school and college, in which his boyhood illusions of a glittering campus career, and an idyllic romance with virginal Ivy Leaguer Salenger, succumb to a manly assumption of responsibility. The trouble starts when he is conned by an ex into paying for her abortion with money intended for college; then, planning to elope with Salenger, he falls foul of his own libido, bedding everyone from his best friend's girl to a divorcee acquaintance of his mother. While the film has the charm of rose-tinted retrospect and is often very funny, the pacing is wrong (it seems much longer than it is) and the sex scenes fail to convince.