Racing with the Moon


Director: Richard Benjamin

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

With its young & amazing cast, it didn't seem possible that even the fatuously banal Richard Benjamin's directorial mediocrity could keep this from being pretty great. But he manages to make everything & everyone in Racing with the Moon (1984) seem milquetoast & trivial.

There is no story to speak of. It's at most a prelude to the loss of innocence that WWII meant for America, showing kids bumbling about town just before getting on a train to go be marines. We never see that loss of innocence so we never see the characters progress. Worse, by setting it in a ritzy-ditzy high-rent California tourist town, it was totally at odds with the working class characters as well as totally at odds with small town America in the 1940s

Benjamin's idea of setting a period mood is having the entire Vintage Auto Club turn out with their freshly waxed toys. Steve Kloves' script might have been adequate (if never really good) with a sharper-edged director & a grubbier midwest setting, but we'll never know.

It's even so a chance to see Sean Penn & Nick Cage as extremely young actors showing definite promise they've since fulfilled, & Penn especially does more with the material than seems possible. And anyone hot for a PAX channel light romance might find something in this deservedly long-lost film that scarsely deserved being dredged up for DVD.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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