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John Sayles's first major studio film, with professional 35-millimeter cinematography and craftsmanlike if uninspired camera placement shoring up the Sayles virtues of empathetic characterization and relaxed, efficient screenplay construction. Rosanna Arquette is very good as a New Jersey girl whose greaser boyfriend looks much less desirable when she graduates from high school to a Seven Sisters college. Set in the mid-60s, the film's remembrances of teenage culture are warm without being dishonestly rosy, and the rock sound track is used to develop dramatic points as well as milk nostalgia. As a filmmaker, Sayles still seems more likable than incisive or original, but it's a likability with a certain brilliance. With Vincent Spano and Joanna Merlin (1983).

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