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USA 1985
Directed by
Peter Bogdanovich
115 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars


Whilst being worthy in terms of subject matter, Peter Bogdanovich’s treatment of the fact-based story of a young man coping with the cruelty of fate is overly sanitized. Eric Stoltz plays Rocky Dennis, a teenager suffering from craniodiaphyseal dyaplasia, an extremely rare disease that causes deformation of the skull. Cher plays his mother Rusty, a single mother with a drug habit.

Stoltz is very good as the boy but Cher is far too carefully made-up to convince as a motorbike skank. And as for Sam Elliott’s blow-waved, tough guy and the rest of his bikie mates, plain forget it. Overall the film is very much in the standard style of middle-American high school movies about sensitive kids coming to term with the insensitive world, a commendable message about love and life, all a little too neatly packaged. The air-brushed treatment makes the topic more accessible but detracts from a sense of realism and with Bob Seger’s music, consigns the film very much to the mid-80s when it was well-appreciated for its bravely non-commercial social conscience agenda. The message still stands up today but the messenger looks a little out of time.




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