Smooth Talk - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Smooth Talk Reviews

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April 6, 2017
An impressive early performance from Laura Dern in this disturbing '80s coming of age drama.
½ February 28, 2017
An interesting commentary on loss of virginity and peer pressure. I would have loved the tone to be more consistent throughout - a very difficult and delicate subject to capture, turning it into a thriller cheapened it in a way.
½ February 29, 2016
ok drama that's kinda murky plot line
June 13, 2015
If this PBS version of Joyce Carol Oates' fabulous short story, "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" does nothing else, it shows us that no drama will live up to the master story-telling of the classic in print. Like all great authors, she uses the gears of our imaginations to take us someplace we've never been before. While the tragic story unfolds in a suspenseful and methodical fashion, this melodrama comes off more as a cautionary tale. The differences are necessary to make the film stand apart from the story, and it's easy to appreciate that most of the audience will need to be diverted in other ways, but most of the detours are unworthy. Having stated this fact, the last half hour is cohesive enough to praise, especially for the blossoming talent of Laura Dern and the perhaps understated, but earnest creepiness of Treat William's performance. Mary Kay Place, as Connie's mother, demonstrates admirable acting, but still seems misplaced--as is Elizabeth Berridge who plays June. The synthesizer soundtrack makes all but the last scenes a period piece--even when it adds some tension towards the finale'. It's good, but it could easily have been more ominous.
½ May 9, 2014
Horrible interpretation of the story "Where are you going, Where have you been?".
½ May 12, 2013
Kind of a cautionary tale to young ladies growing up too fast. I thought by the cover, and how the film opened, it was going to be some teeny bopper film. And it started that way with three girls in the mall gawking at boys, and then it slowly turns dark.

The last half hour is just creepy. Despite top billing, Treat Williams really doesn't show up until then and it's like a 30 minute seduction scene as this guy clearly in his 30's lures Dern, playing 15, out of the house for a drive which probably led to bad things. But watch Williams bait this young girl will make your skin crawl, he is THAT good in a bad way.

Dern is fantastic too, but she looks way too old to be 15. She's really tall and full figured here, and she looks years older than her onscreen sister, who is older allegedly. I still could see the point was across, but the film would have been even creepier had they used someone that looked the actual age.

William Ragsdale shows up for a small part too.
December 7, 2012
will see very shortly
½ November 17, 2012
Strange mix of growing-pains drama and psychological study
½ February 11, 2012
Somewhat brutally honest at times, Smooth Talk is about a sixteen year old girl who is falling in love with older boys, while falling out of love with her family. The film depicts a strained mother-daughter relationship; I have two sister, and this film gets it spot on. There is a a dark side to these boys that you are made aware of in the first scene, subtle at times but when you realize it, you can't help getting creeped-out.
January 13, 2012
Laura Dern is interesting in this coming of age tale, despite being WAAY to old to be the 15 yr old that she's meant to be playing.

She spends her days ignoring her mother and household chores, instead spending her time at the mall trying to get noticed by boys, only to eventually draw the attention of a much older man, played by Treat Williams, who watches her from afar, sizing her up as she deals with the boys her age, then finally makes his move.

The ambiguous ending may put off some, but I enjoy it and think it might stand up to repeated viewings to see if other details color your own opinion of what actually happens.

Give it a rental, see what you think.
February 13, 2011
I hope the movie is as great as the story. The trailer looks stupid but the movie clips on YouTube looks good. Can't wait to see it.
February 1, 2011
Laura Dern did a great job as the protagonist, but the end was bad and insulting.
½ January 29, 2011
I saw this so long ago, I barely remember it. I'll have to watch it again.
½ November 18, 2010
Between a 6/10 and 7/10,if you can disregard the incoherent ending, in her directorial debut, Chopra has made a disturbing tale of sexual awakening set against the 1980s new context of shopping malls; Laura Dern is extraordinary as the lead.
½ June 4, 2010
In my world, nothing can touch the Joyce Carol Oates story.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2010
I was expecting this to be a fun 80's teen movie, so I got a bit of a shock by the turn it actually took. One of the most chilling and believable films I have seen about being a teenager. The silly girls in this really rang true to some of the girls I grew up with in the 80's and I was really impressed with Laura Dern. I wonder why it wasn't more well known, I had actually never heard of this until recently, and I love 80's films, particularly the teen variety. I don't remember anything about this from when I was growing up. Perhaps it was more popular over in the US.
Well worth a look for anyone who likes this genre, who, like me, may have missed out on it first time around.
May 8, 2010
I loved the Joyce Carol Oates short story this is based on, but every attempt to expand on it here fell flat. The newly added scenes and dialogue never reach the same level of authenticity as that original story, and at its worst moments, the interactions between the protagonist and her family are just plain cheesy. It felt like I was watching a Hallmark movie gone horribly wrong. "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been" gets its message across without being so preachy. The climactic scene (taken almost word-for-word from the original story) is very well-done, with great acting from Treat Williams who manages to seem creepy and charismatic at the same time. Clearly, this should have been a short film...just without the tacked-on "happy ending" that is so contrived it ruins the previous scene I was just praising.
June 24, 2009
i love this movie!!!
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2009
The main thing that even made this movie watchable is that Laura Dern was sexy.
½ March 30, 2009
Taken from Joyce Carol Oates' hard-hitting short story 'Where Ar You Going, Where Have You Been?', Smooth Talk is the movie that put young Laura Dern on the map. She is wonderful in this film, matching Treat Williams step for step as he plays the mysterious Arnold Friend. This is one not to be missed.
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