A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this story set in the early 1960s, Jimmy Reardon (River Phoenix) is a 17-year-old hormonally charged teen who bemoans the fact that his high school days are over in this comedy drama. He hopes to earn enough money to leave Evanston, Illinois and join his standoffish sweetheart Lisa (Meredith Salenger) in Hawaii. Although he has no luck with his own girlfriend, Jimmy manages to sleep with his best friend's girl and his father's sweetheart Joyce (Ann Magnuson).
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


River Phoenix
as Jimmy Reardon
Ann Magnuson
as Joyce Fickett
Meredith Salenger
as Lisa Bentwright
Ione Skye
as Denise Hunter
as Suzie Middleberg
Matthew Perry
as Fred Roberts
Paul Koslo
as Al Reardon
Jane Hallaren
as Faye Reardon
Jason Court
as Mathew Hollander
James Deuter
as Linus Spaulding
Marji Banks
as Emma Spaulding
Margaret Moore
as Mrs. Bentwright
Kamie Harper
as Rosie Reardon
Johnny Galecki
as Toby Reardon
Regan Andreas
as Sailor Cap
E.J. Murray
as Alice
Mark Winsten
as Red Blazer
Craig Huston
as Waiter
Kristin Weithas
as Coffee House Girl #1
Lisa Stodder
as Coffee House Girl #2
Kurt Bjorling
as Musician #1
Alan Goldsher
as Musician #2
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Critic Reviews for A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

While the film has the charm of rose-tinted retrospect and is often very funny, the pacing is wrong (it seems much longer than it is) and the sex scenes fail to convince.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

For a movie set in 1962, there's some seriously big 80s hair taking place here

October 28, 2005
Film Threat

Adds some fresh twists to the coming-of-age dramas.

Full Review… | August 28, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

Quote not available.

July 24, 2005

Quote not available.

December 30, 2004
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Quote not available.

December 22, 2003
One Guy's Opinion

Audience Reviews for A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon

Jimmy's stupid, why did we need to see what a night in his life would be like? I've seen a lot of similar movies that are better.

Lisa Spader
Lisa Spader

omg i loved river phoenix in this moive and i though he was so cute=] The late, much-missed River Phoenix had his first starring role in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon, one of the more unusual teen comedies of the 1980s. Jimmy (Phoenix) is a lower-class kid whose parents have gotten him into a wealthy school, where he hangs out with kids who can't comprehend not having money. Jimmy puts the moves on almost every girl he meets, including Denise (Ione Skye from Say Anything and Gas Food Lodging), the girlfriend of his best friend Fred (a very young Matthew Perry, who has gone on to huge success on the TV show Friends), even though his own girlfriend, Lisa (Meredith Salenger), is about to move to Hawaii. On the evening of graduation, Jimmy ruins just about every relationship he has and wrecks his dad's car along the way. A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon is based on a novel that screenwriter-director William Richert wrote when he was 19, and you can tell--the movie is full of self-aggrandizing gestures, bad poetry, and wounded looks. But despite that--or because of it--the movie also has something of the genuine chaos of late adolescence, when you start to realize that the dreams you have might not be what you want, and that your worst fears might not be the worst that could happen. Phoenix is a truly charismatic presence, though his fresh face is a bit at odds with his scamming character. The movie isn't a cinematic Catcher in the Rye, but it's exploring the same troubled territory.

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Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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