Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1979. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Screenplay by Steve Tesich. Cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti. Produced by Peter Yates. Music by Patrick Williams. Production Design by Patrizia von Brandenstein. Costume Design by Betsy Cox. Film Editing by Cynthia Scheider. Academy Awards 1979. Golden Globe Awards 1979. New York Film Critics Awards 1979.
A familiar tale is made fresh with a wonderful screenplay and engaging characters. In a small university town, the local working class boys are at constant odds with the snooty, rich students, with one of the locals (Dennis Christopher) an opera-loving bicyclist who plans on racing against the fraternity boys to add to his collection of trophies. A fan of Italy’s national racing team, Christopher even impersonates an Italian exchange student to impress a university girl he meets and wants to date, while his father is completely perplexed at his son’s sudden obsession with learning Italian and shaving his legs (to cut down wind resistance). Barbara Barrie is terrific as Christopher’s mother, while Dennis Quaid and Daniel Stern have early career appearances as his friends in this enjoyable comedy with a genuine heart at its centre.