Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
Interstellar Review
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Kevin Bacon
Brad Renfro
Calista Flockhart.
Directors
Guy Ferland.
Screenwriters
Joe Eszterhas.
Running Time
101 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Citizenfour
4 Star Empire Rating
Skeleton Twins, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Overnighters, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Fury
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Telling Lies In America
Rite-of passage drama set in the 60s.


submit to reddit


Plot
Karchy and father are pinning their hopes on the American Citizen Exams for the beginning of Karchy's bright future, but his coming-of-age pursuit of excitement, in the form of sex and a shady club scene, begin to lead him from the path perviously carved out.


Review
The initial impression given by this modest little movie is of another pop-musical period piece, tugging on the spangly coat-tails of That Thing You Do! and Grace Of My Heart. But where such nostalgia trips have bathed in an indulgent, rosy glimmer, a creditable air of earthy realism blows among these Cadillac fins and gelled quiffs, with shiny but shallow 60s pop a perfect metaphor for the tarnishing American dream. Such sensitivity is all the more surprising in that it issues from the pen of normally salacious scripter Joe Eszterhas.

This is coming-of-age, rites-of-passage stuff, with the focus on fame-hungry Karchy (Renfro). Following the usual rules of combat - pursuit of girls and sex, standing up for oneself, discovering the tricksy burden of morality - accepted teen troubles are made more awkward by his Hungarian descent and accent. And as the American citizenship exams he and his father are pinning their hopes on loom, Karchy wheedles his way into the employ of charismatic but shady DJ Billy Magic (Bacon), which may or may not be a smart move. All flashy front and broadcast patter, Bacon is in sly, effective form - his character as much an outsider as his youthful co-star's - with Renfro's equally solid performance backing up decent turns in Sleepers, The Client and The Cure, and securing him the current top spot among his generation. Maximilian Schell is rather wasted as Dr. Jonas, but Flockhart is rightly given greater room to shine than in The Birdcage as the reluctant object of Karchy's affections.

A carefully evoked and unhurried number that won't bring the house down, this nonetheless ends up being more absorbing than you'd think.


Verdict
A carefully evoked and unhurried number that won't bring the house down, this nonetheless ends up being more absorbing than you'd think.


Reviewed by Darren Bignell

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets Mike Leigh
On Mr. Turner, 007 and liver in lager

World War II Movies That Win At History
Seen Fury? Here’s what to watch next...

The 25 Shatneriest William Shatner Moments Of All Time
Prepare. For. Many. One. Word. Sentences.

Marvel Announces Phase Three Film Slate Up To 2019
Photos from the event and have a look at all the new movie logos

Lists Of Our Lifetime: Empire's 25 Greatest Scares
Monsters, ghosts, horrible old ladies: the scenes that have kept us hiding behind the sofa for the last 25 years. Warning: contains spoilers.

Empire's Interstellar Review
Read our official verdict on Christopher Nolan's science-fiction epic

The 40 Most Fearsome One-Man Armies In Cinema
When you absolutely, positively have to kill every last mutha in the room...

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)