Just the same, this generally-overlooked, nostalgic, cutesy gander at 1950s teenage romance, sex and bad boys IS worth viewing - even though every single cliche scene and phrase you could ever possibly imagine or remember on those topics has been cobbled together to become this script. The James Dean / Natalie Wood 'chicken' car dare from "Rebel Without A Cause" is shamelessly ripped off.
Still, the film basically works. Mostly because director Damski had the insight to pour his budget into incredibly realistic & detailed set pieces and props, quality camera-work, sharp color - and a no-corners-cut soundtrack.
There's likely not another film that looks more like days and nights at 1956 MidwestBurg High School that this one; in that sense it even gives "American Graffiti" a real run for the money. Everything from malted glasses to costumes to cars (even a moving van) are, visually, amazingly authentic - and well filmed.
The 1950ish town square seen actually still exists in the condition filmed here, less a few props, at the center of Nelsonville, Ohio. You'll wish you could pull right up to a speaker and order fries at Jerry's pink-'n-sky-blue-neon drive-in.
With remaining funds, Damski employed a quintet of then-budding actors you've-sort-of-heard-of, all of whom do really good work, especially considering the lines they've been dealt. At fin, Jami Gertz has never looked lovelier.
The kids (and you) get to groove to Fats Domino, Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Platters, Little Richard, and other top-notchers, including a few true jewels you might have forgotten.
RECOMMENDATION: If you liked "American Graffiti," "Grease," "Happy Days" et. al., it's a pretty safe wager you'll be-bop to this one too.
Dweeb virgin Doug Mckeon ( fresh from On Golden Pond ) lusts after the beyond gorgeous uber babe Kelly Preston. After typically embarrassing attempts, he scores with her in probably one of the most refreshingly honest, realistic, first time sex scene in movie history.
Movie then turns into a charming tale of friendship between McKeon, Preston, Catherine Mary Stewart and her motorcycle riding rebel boyfriend, played by Chris Nash.
The aura of nostalgia is graced by 50's music, cozily fuzzy scenes of rural farms and bright small towns, and spot on period detail
And it must be said again, , Kelly Preston was at the height of her golden beauty in this movie : an absolutely stunningly beautiful woman. Mr Travolta is a lucky man.