Film Scouts Reviews

"Telling Lies in America"

by Kathleen Carroll

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Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who's known for dishing out such lurid Hollywood trash as "Showgirls", appears to have cleaned up his act - at least temporarily. For the shocking truth is that this sweet-natured semi-autobiographical tale of lost innocence was written by the notorious Eszterhas. There are few surprises here. The teenage son of a Hungarian immigrant hangs with the wrong guy - a cool, cynical DJ who introduces him to sex-for-hire, flashy cars and the payola scandal. There are some genuinely appealing moments, but it's all wrapped up with a happy ending that suggests that telling whoppers is the American way. On the other hand, Kevin Bacon's loose-lipped rock-`n'-roll-savvy performance as the record-spinning Billy Magic spices up the movie enough to make it almost worth seeing.

Bacon also performed well at a festival press conference. He admitted he was pleased to be playing the bad role model for an impressionable teenager for a change. "I'm so happy not to be coming of age again in a movie. For 30 years I've been coming of age in movies." Bacon also wrote one of the rock tunes in this festival selection. "It was a little personal challenge to write a song called `Medium Rare,' sort of a goof," he explained.

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