Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
USA, 1983. Lucille Ball Productions, Twentieth Century Fox. Screenplay by Pat Jordan, Michael Kane. Cinematography by Jan de Bont. Produced by Stephen Deutsch. Music by David Campbell. Production Design by Mary Ann Biddle. Costume Design by Eddie Marks. Film Editing by David Garfield.
The year of the Cruise was constituted of the star-making Risky Business, the lamentable Losin’ It and this minor charmer. Tom plays a high school student in a middle-of-nowhere Pennsylvania town who longs to get out by way of a football scholarship. When personal conflict with his coach (Craig T. Nelson) gets him kicked off the team and his youthfully immature rebellion threatens to derail his future altogether, Cruise finds himself faced with the prospect of never getting anywhere and working the soul-crushing job at the steel plant that his father and brother have barely been surviving.
Director Michael Chapman (a rare directing foray for a very successful cinematographer) gets nothing new out of the material, and there is plenty of badly dated dialogue that seems to get too much fun out of insulting minorities, but the relationship between Cruise and his equally frustrated girlfriend Lea Thompson is sweet and there are enough sincere moments to sell it.