Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
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
They Came Together
3 Star Empire Rating
Attila Marcel
3 Star Empire Rating
Life Of Crime
3 Star Empire Rating
Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar
3 Star Empire Rating
Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz, The
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
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.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Empire Podcast #126: Jon Hamm Talks Million Dollar Arm, Mad Men And Beards
Plus Richard Ayoade pops in to talk about directing The Double

15 Of The Weirdest TV Cameos Of All Time
From Michael Palin in Home And Away to Ian McKellen in Corrie

Updated: The 36 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

The Many Deaths Of Sean Bean
The actor talks us through his on-screen offings

Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

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 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
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  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)