Common Sense Media says
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this well acted and well-scripted '80s coming-of age film will be too adult for most kids under 12. Older kids get hooked by the appealing characters. We recommend an adult watch this one with them and discuss questionable behavior, including mockery, lying and teen drinking. Parents are absent from children's lives.
What's the story?
This quirky coming-of-age story centers on Lucas (Corey Haim), an \"accelerated\" (by two grades) 14-year-old boy with a passion for insects. Lucas lucks out when he befriends newcomer Maggie (Kerri Green), and hangs out with her over the summer. To impress her, Lucas lies about his family and pretends to be friends with the popular kids. But when school starts, Lucas is humiliated at the first pep rally. When Maggie falls for the school quarterback (Charlie Sheen), Lucas talks his way onto the team in a last-ditch attempt to get her attention, but he fumbles the big pass and is crushed in a pile-on. However, his bravado wins over even the jocks who had called him a freak. The team gives him a cool jacket; Lucas is ecstatic.
Is it any good?
While Lucas takes its time developing, a terrific young cast and understated comic sensibility make this heartwarming mid-80s sleeper a winner. It's an honest portrayal of the highs and lows of adolescent life. While viewers may cringe and even laugh at Lucas's outrageous antics, they will also sympathize with him. That's because no matter how clever Lucas is at covering the pain of being rejected, he is still the outsider who desperately wants to fit in.
The supporting characters are impressively complex as well. In most films of this sort, Charlie Sheen's football player would be the obvious villain. Playing against the stereotypical cold-hearted jock, Sheen's character looks out for Lucas, even while he is falling for the girl Lucas loves. The casting is good all around. Excellent early performances from Haim and Sheen, and Winona Rider in her film debut, do much to place this teen angst film a cut above most.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about their own teen children's experience may mirror Lucas's. How do they deal with rejection? How do they reject others out-of-hand?