Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1990. Orion Pictures. Screenplay by June Roberts, based on the novel by Patty Dann. Cinematography by Howard Atherton. Produced by Lauren Lloyd, Wallis Nicita, Patrick J. Palmer. Music by Jack Nitzsche. Production Design by Stuart Wurtzel. Costume Design by Marit Allen. Film Editing by Jacqueline Cambas. Golden Globe Awards 1990.
Performances are the best thing about this underrated and understated coming-of-age comedy that features Cher doing what she does best: attitude. As Rachel Flax, a headstrong and independent mother of two (Winona Ryder, Christina Ricci), she thinks nothing of jumping into her car at the slightest sign of trouble and moving to another town (“Life is change”, she says). Ryder is excellent as the fifteen year-old Charlotte, a girl who thinks that the best way to fight her burgeoning hormones is to devote her life to the Catholic church as a nun, despite the fact that she’s Jewish; the boy next door (Michael Schoeffling) gets in the way of her holy ambitions. Bob Hoskins is also a riot as the awshucks shoe salesman who falls over himself for Rachel, first out of fascination, and then out of love. Great music, great period feel and very light, warmhearted direction by Richard Benjamin.