Nearing Grace

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Nearing Grace
BREAK THOSE CHAINS Gruffudd, right, inspects a slave ship’s shackles.

If you thought your high-school years were mortifying, consider the plight of Henry Nearing (Smith). His mom has recently died and his grief-stricken father (Morse) is given to binge drinking and raucous motorcycle excursions. What’s more, the randy teen is being tortured by vampish Grace (Brewster) and is blind to the advances of his smitten best pal, Merna (Johnson). Dejected, Henry drops out of school and retreats to the basement to confront his existential crisis. Ironically, it’s the performance of Everwood star Smith that rescues this ’70s-set story from WB-esque melodrama. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.)—Erin Clements

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