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The Road Home Review

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Troubled teenager, Tim Doolan is shunted off into a private psychiatric nursing home full of other mixed up rich kids like himself. He quickly builds on one relationship with the pretty Cheryland gradually develops another with Doctor Loftis, the only member of staff who puts caring for his patients above the profit motive.

★★★★★

A doomed attempt to do a modern day Rebel Without A Cause, The Road Home is the story of one confused teenager and all the problems he faces because his divorced parents substitute money for love.

After an appearance in court, Tim Doolan (Horovitz) is shunted off into a private psychiatric nursing home full of other mixed up rich kids like himself. He quickly builds on one relationship with the pretty Cheryl (Locane) - whose idea of fun is driving her mother's car into the swimming pool - and gradually develops another with nice Doctor Loftis (Sutherland), the only member of staff who puts caring for his patients above the profit motive. Meanwhile, on the outside, Tim's violent half-brother Andy (Bloomfield) is still stirring up trouble, breaking the law and generally being a Bad Influence.

This used to be called Lost Angels and it's been sitting on the shelf for quite a while. With a good outsider's eye for the space and loneliness of the American suburbs, Hugh Hudson's first movie since the disastrous Revolution is always interesting to look at, but there's an overwhelming heavy-handedness about the way in which it sets up all of the big issues - inadequate parents; peer group pressures; gang warfare; adolescent love and so on - and then throws them out at the audience as though they's never been dealt with on film before. Despite his Beastie Boys pedigree, Horowitz does a good, controlled job in thelead role, but it's difficult to feel much sympathy for his character since he's obviously just an excuse for a lot of pompous moralising about parental responsibilities. In keeping with that, the film ends embarrasingly with a dedication from Hudson to his own kids. Let's hope they don't need to live on the receipts.

Heavy-handed and predictable, the young lead does his best amongst all the moralising and earnest lessons but there really isn't anything new said here and no new ways to say it.

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