Grandview, U.S.A. | Chicago Reader

Grandview, U.S.A.

I don't want to oversell it, but this small-town drama by Randal Kleiser (Grease, The Blue Lagoon) is surprisingly serious and involving. Nearly all of the plot events seem stupid and commercially motivated, yet the main characters—disaffected teenager C. Thomas Howell, construction worker Patrick Swayze, and drag-strip manager Jamie Lee Curtis—project a fundamental integrity that is never tarnished by the trashy narration. It is a shock and a pleasure to see an American film that doesn't wallow in complacency, but instead suggests—however fleetingly—that disappointment is also a part of life. Curtis is particularly impressive in the strength and maturity she brings to a role written as pure fantasy. With Jennifer Jason Leigh and Troy Donahue (1984).

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