Monday, January 10, 2011

Breaking Away love

Breaking Away was Directed by Peter Yates who just passed away at age 82. He also directed Steve McQueen in Bullitt and famously Jacqueline Bisset in her T-shirt in the fun underwater adventure, The Deep. The picture was written by Steve Tesich (The World According To Garp) and netted him an Oscar for best original screenplay. The film was nominated for 5 Academy Awards total, including best picture. Essentially a coming of age story, Breaking Away stars Dennis Christopher (Fade To Black), Dennis Quaid (Innerspace), Daniel Stern (CHUD), Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears) Paul Dooley (Sixteen Candles) and Barbara Barrie (Private Benjamin)

Breaking away follows a group of small town friends in Indiana who share a love of competitive bicycling and a yearning for something more. Dennis Christopher's Dave Stoller is front and center here and a good deal of the conflict is wrung from his relationship with his parents... and to hilarious results. Dave more than any of his friends really wants a new life for himself, and is constantly re-inventing himself. His obsession of late is with Italian bicyclists and this leads to funny moments where's constantly pining for opera and Italian food... And he even goes to the length of pretending to be an Italian exchange student to impress a girl he knows might not think twice considering he's a "townie".

Steve Tisech's screenplay (he based it on his memories of going to college in small town Indiana) is filled with so many wonderful moments. Every one in the cast gets to shine and the film leaves you with a big smile. It brilliantly captures that time of your youth right after high school where the big, bad world out there is suddenIy yours to go after, and you have to make that transition to adulthood. And the movie really works as a rousing sports film as well!

I remember watching this picture one very early morning with my then girlfriend now wife and we felt so exhilarated afterward, that we didn't even mind having to go to work soon after. It's the kind of feel good movie that your heart wants you to see... So if you haven't, you better get to it soon!


J.D. said...

Paul Dooley as the father is so note perfect in this film.... This, and his father in SIXTEEN CANDLES always made me wish he was my dad - seemingly so kind and understanding and in BREAKING AWAY he also injected some fantastic humor at just the right moments.

Cinema Du Meep said...

I love Paul Dooley. He's great in the Altman films as well.

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