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 Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
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
Erebus: Into The Unknown
3 Star Empire Rating
Walesa: Man of Hope
4 Star Empire Rating
Warn that Man
3 Star Empire Rating
West 11
2 Star Empire Rating
We Joined The Navy
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
EMPIRE ESSAY: When Harry Met Sally
5 Star Empire Rating
Leviathan
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.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The X-Men TV Series: 10 Possible Plotlines
Mutants on a budget? We suggest some ideas for Fox’s new franchise extension

10 Kid-Friendly Marvel Comics That Could Be The Next Big Hero 6
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a lot to play with elsewhere in the Marvelverse

20 Sitcom Spin-Offs That Were Doomed To Fail
From Joey to Ally and back again…

Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

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 maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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)