“We all know most marriages depend on a firm grasp of football trivia.”
While a young man (Steve Guttenberg) in Baltimore prepares to marry his wife if she passes a football trivia quiz, his friend Shrevie (Daniel Stern) muses over newly married life with his wife (Ellen Barkin), and they hang out with their other friends — Boogie (Mickey Rourke), Fenwick (Kevin Bacon), Billy (Tim Daly), and Modell (Paul Reiser) — in a local diner.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Coming of Age
- Ensemble Cast
- Marital Problems
- Mickey Rourke Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary argues that this “low-budget nostalgia comedy by writer-director Barry Levinson” — about “a group of young male buddies who hang out at a diner in Baltimore in 1959 at a time they have to make decisions about work, women, [and] their futures” — is responded to more by “female viewers” who perhaps “dated similar flawed, funny characters,” while men may wisely not “wish to identify with guys who have jerk streaks a mile long.” I’m not sure how many women did or still do enjoy this film, but I’m not among them — for exactly the reason Peary provides. While “the diner dialogue has rhythm and is well delivered by the talented cast”:
… it’s not interesting; meanwhile, “the characters [are] dull and unsympathetic until they start tripping over words around females” (at which point I still… find them dull and unsympathetic). Peary notes that “the most original scenes have Daniel Stern hysterically telling off Ellen Barkin for mixing up his precious rock-‘n’-roll collection”:
and “Steve Guttenberg giving his fiancee” (whose face we never see) “a football trivia test to determine if the wedding is still on” — but all these scenes do is reinforce what immature jerks these guys are. Why do we want to spend time around them, again?
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Good use of authentic Baltimore locales
No, though it’s worth a one time look for its historical relevance as a breakthrough film for many of these young actors (and Levinson as a director).
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)