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Jimmy Reardon: A Teenage Rebel’s Story

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon: A Review of the 1988 Comedy Drama

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon is a 1988 comedy drama film written and directed by William Richert, based on his own novel Arent You Even Gonna Kiss Me Goodbye?. The film stars River Phoenix as Jimmy Reardon, a charming but aimless teenager who has to decide what to do with his life after graduating from high school in a wealthy Chicago suburb in the early 1960s.

Jimmy Reardon: A Teenage Rebel’s Story

Jimmy is torn between following his fathers wishes and attending a business college, or pursuing his own dreams and eloping to Hawaii with his girlfriend Lisa Bentwright (Meredith Salenger). Along the way, he gets into various misadventures involving his best friend Fred Roberts (Matthew Perry), Freds snobby girlfriend Denise Hunter (Ione Skye), his mothers divorced friend Joyce Fickett (Ann Magnuson), and a car accident that brings him closer to his father (Paul Koslo).

The film is a coming-of-age story that explores Jimmys struggles with identity, love, and responsibility. It also showcases Phoenixs charisma and talent as a young actor, who delivers a nuanced and witty performance as the conflicted protagonist. The film also features a supporting cast of familiar faces, such as Johnny Galecki as Jimmys younger brother Toby, Louanne Sirota as his quirky friend Suzie, and Jason Court as Lisas wealthy rival Matthew.

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon was filmed in 1986 and released in early 1988. However, the film was heavily edited by the studio, resulting in two different versions: one for the US market and one for the international market. The US version features a different score by Bill Conti and cuts out several scenes that add depth and humor to Jimmys character. The international version features the original score by Elmer Bernstein and restores the deleted scenes, making it closer to Richerts original vision.

The film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, and was not a commercial success at the box office. However, it has since gained a cult following among fans of Phoenix and 1980s cinema. The film is a nostalgic and humorous look at the dilemmas of adolescence, and a showcase of Phoenixs potential as a star.

One of the highlights of the film is the chemistry between Phoenix and Salenger, who play Jimmy and Lisa, the young lovers who want to escape their mundane lives and run away to Hawaii. Phoenix and Salenger had a real-life romance during the filming of the movie, and their affection and passion are evident on screen. They share several tender and funny moments, such as when Lisa asks Jimmy to show her his penis, or when they try to have sex in a hotel room while being interrupted by a noisy couple next door.

Another memorable aspect of the film is the soundtrack, which features songs from the 1960s that reflect the mood and tone of the story. The international version of the film includes five additional songs that were cut from the US version, such as Just One Look by Doris Troy, The End of the World by Skeeter Davis, Im Sorry by Brenda Lee, You Dont Own Me by Lesley Gore, and The Loco-Motion by Little Eva. These songs add more flavor and authenticity to the films setting and atmosphere.

A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon is a film that deserves more recognition and appreciation than it received when it was released. It is a witty and poignant portrait of a young man who is trying to find his place in the world, and a showcase of Phoenixs talent and charisma as an actor. The film is a hidden gem that fans of Phoenix and 1980s cinema should not miss. 04f6b60f66


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