More of a drama film than a war film, which takes place starting during the 60's Vietnam and the movie centers on an old ritual called 'dogfight' involving the Marines practiced before going off to war! During this, actor River Phoenix as Eddie Birlace builds a rapport with one of it's contestants, actress Lili Taylor as Rose and the movie dwells on this relationship!
What can I say but interesting information about what Marines or soldiers used to do before being sent off to war! A story using fictionize characters as well as storyline based on actual fact!
2.5 out of 4
The film is a relitively unknown gem of a romance film, Phoenix plays a chain smoking sweaaring 19 year old marine and Lil Taylor is also very good.
This is one of my favourite films and im very glad I watched it.
Lily Taylor was wonderful as usual. You might remember her from Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts in 1988 or Say Anything with John Cusack in 1989. She has been in lots and lots of other movies and tv shows as well.
A supporting role was played by Anthony Clark from Yes, Dear tv show.
A small part of a sailor in a fight was played by a young and hunky Brendan Fraser. So cute.
The story starts when President Kennedy was just starting to send military advisers to Vietnam. River Phoenix's character is a Marine who is being sent overseas the next day. A bunch of the guys are having a "dogfight", it is a contest during a party where the guy that brings the ugliest girl wins a prize. It is mean, and hurtful when Lily Taylor's character learns the true nature of the party.
I don't want to tell you anymore, because I hope that you will see the movie if you have not already. It is a sweet and tangy love story, and an enlightening experience about how different relationships are guy to guy, and guy to girl.
Highly recommended - and it was a surprise to me!
Dogfight is a neat film that showed glimpses of what River Phoenix had in store for us had he not passed away. The term "dogfight" in this film is when a group of Marines get together and throw a party for the one night they have in town. They hold a competition on who can bring the ugliest girl, and whoever achieves this goal wins $100 dollars. Phoenix's character, Eddie Birdlace, ends up asking out a waitress at a local family owned diner. Sweet, innocent, she offers a juxtapose to Birdlace's foul mouthed and jarhead personality. Eventually Rose, the waitress played by Lili Taylor, finds out of the cruel game and lashes out at the Marines. The rest of the film shows us a night on the town as the two young lovers end up going on a date.
The performances by Phoenix and Lili Taylor are magnificent and they both do a great job portraying the character's beauty and flaws. The plot is a little thin, and there really isn't much to it until the end where they incorporate the Anti-War mentality during the Vietnam War. Overall, the film will serve as a "What could have been.." scenario for River Phoenix fans. Though not his best work, he gives us a wonderful performance in this oddball of a romantic film.