Well, the photography has some high points, but otherwise this is a blithering piece of shit that aspires to nuzzle amongst the ranks of “The Outsiders” and “The Wanderers.” This is the drabbest coming of age story that’s ever defied viewing. Anne Frank’s bio “The Hiding Place” has more joy-of-life sentiment to it for fuck’s sake. It’s not that there’s anything offensive about this movie, and that’s exactly the problem. What this movie needed was some drugs, a stabbing, some rape, or shit, how about some domestic abuse? The obstacles in this movie are so fey that you cannot respect the characters as they stumble and whine. The story is limp and unhappy, bereft of adolescent anxiety, with an underdose of angst, and a bunch of greaser punks that stand around bitching like unemployed step dads. I wanted sex, violence, and a sense of awe, but by the end of this non-event I just wanted one of these dipshits to put a zip gun to their temple and end it.
Set in 1964, Ontario, Canada, the story revolves around a wop, a mick, a kike, and an anglophile, with ambitions of ducking their ne’er-do-well fate for rock stardom. Beatlemania has reached a fever pitch, and the Fab Four are set to play the Maple Leaf garden in just a few weeks. Local rock station CHUK has announced a battle of the bands contest to determine who will have the honor of opening the monumental occasion. Our story’s central figure is Bello, the son of fresh Italian immigrants, who spends most of his time hanging out at his bisexual black sheep uncle’s pool hall. Just a side note here, if the uncle had raped the Jew drummer kid, this would have been an incredible movie. While Bello and his friends are dedicated to winning the battle of the bands contest, another hoodlum set insists that they’re wasting their time and should join their fencing operation. In the end, Bello and company lose the competition and bitterly gravitate toward their criminal careers. The film’s final note is less than hopeful, and the already unlikable protagonist is left in the dark without any sort of redemption or ambition to make something better of himself. But you can hardly call it a bummer because the film has failed to make you give a shit anyway.
The movie owes a great deal to a production designer who actually achieves the period, but unfortunately the effort is wasted on a meandering script that lacks real events. Nothing really significant happens. Focus on Bello squanders the ethnic differences between he and the other characters, and we are spared only small glimpses into their home lives. The one primary element that’s lacking is a real sense of youthful comradery between the band mates. None of these guys even have a sense of humor. No one gets drunk. No one gets laid. No one has any fucking fun. Nothing really happens. All together, this mess goes in one eye and out the other, tracking depression through your skull like a brat does mud on a rainy day.