Heaven Help Us | Chicago Reader

Heaven Help Us

A pleasant surprise, Michael Dinner's film manages a mild redemption of the conventions of the horny teenager movie by taking its characters with a grain of seriousness and injecting some light romance and melodrama. The setting is a Catholic boys' school in 1965 Brooklyn; 16-year-old Michael Dunn (Andrew McCarthy) is a transfer student from Boston caught between autocratic teachers and the school toughs. While his classmates burn with undirected lust, he conceives a crush on the wary, sullen girl who runs the candy store down the street. Dinner sketches the social context with care and assurance, giving an edge of real-life risk to the standard high jinks. With Donald Sutherland, John Heard, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Kate Reid, and Wallace Shawn.

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