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"GOING ALL THE WAY"
(1997) (Jeremy Davies, Ben Affleck) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Minor *Moderate Minor None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Minor None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Two young men return from military service in the 1950's and try to find themselves and discover what they want from life.
PLOT:
Sonny Burns (JEREMY DAVIES) and Gunner Casselman (BEN AFFLECK) are two young men who've returned to Indianapolis in 1954 after serving time in the military. While different from each other in so many ways, the men have similar problems and choices to make. Sonny, a shy, reserved photographer, must deal with Alma (JILL CLAYBURGH), his overbearing mother who's pressuring him to become religious and to marry his high school sweetheart, Buddy Porter (AMY LOCANE). Gunner, the former high school jock, wants to discover and observe life, but must deal with his hip mother, Nina (LESLEY ANN WARREN). As the two men try to figure out what they want from life, in the short term they try to "score" with different women including their high school girlfriends and two new women, Marty Pilcher (RACHEL WEISZ), Gunner's new girlfriend, and her friend Gail Thayer (ROSE MCGOWAN).
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's not very likely unless they're fans of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JEREMY DAVIES plays a shy, reserved young man who drinks, smokes and has sex with several women. He also dislikes his mother who pressures him to accept religion, although he states that he doesn't believe in God.
  • BEN AFFLECK plays the more outgoing of the two men who wants to observe life and who also drinks, smokes, and has sex with several women.
  • AMY LOCANE plays Sonny's high school girlfriend who wants their relationship to become serious, but does have casual sex with him.
  • JILL CLAYBURGH plays Sonny's mother who doesn't like him hanging out with Gunner (she sees him as a bad influence) and who wants him to accept religion and puts a lot of pressure on his to do so.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 4.5 out of 10
    This is a rather odd, but often engaging "coming of age" film. Set in the mid 1950's before the "sexual revolution" would take place a decade later, the film is reminiscent of other "pre- revolution movies" such as "Summer of 42" or "Racing the Moon" where sex is a major preoccupation of the main characters. Of course these boys, having returned from the service, are now considered men, and the film is as much about breaking free from a former childhood life and forging ahead to mold a new adult one, as it is about sex. The film does take a rather strange approach in that it allows us inside Sonny's imaginative mind where we occasionally see his sensual daydreams as well as his neurotic fears and worries. While such moments are interesting and often funny, they aren't used often enough to establish that as a recurring plot device. Additionally, they're often a bit jarring when we don't know whether they're really happening or are just part of Sonny's mind working overtime.

    Unfortunately, all of that, and the story in general, has a rather haphazard feel to it that prevents the audience from totally connecting with the characters. Some of this can be attributed to director Mark Pellington who makes his first jump to the big screen from MTV, a medium where strong plots aren't always the greatest objectives. The characters, however, are what makes the film standout from being just another 1950's sex romp movie. Played by Jeremy Davies ("Spanking the Monkey," "The Locusts") and Ben Affleck ("Chasing Amy"), the characters are always fun to watch, particularly Davies. He has a bright, but potentially limited future ahead of him playing slightly demented characters (that comprise most of his acting portfolio so far). He'll probably become typecast in such roles, but when he's allowed to play a somewhat "normal" character, he really shines. When doing so in this film, though, he bears an uncanny and striking physical resemblance to a young Anthony Perkins. Given those looks and his penchant for playing the slightly (and sometimes greatly) wacky characters, he's a shoo-in should they ever make another "Psycho" movie (For his sake and ours, let's hope they don't).

    Smaller parts, played by former big stars, are also a highlight of the film. Jill Clayburgh is hilarious as the stereotypical conservative suburban mom, while Lesley Ann Warren is outrageous in her brief time on screen. Despite all of that, the story is just mediocre in keeping us interested and we never really believe that Gunner would be interested in hanging out with a guy like Sonny. While we're supposed to infer that the Korean War changed him from a jock to an introspective guy, it feels more contrived than realistic. Although the characters and a few scenes give the movie several bright moments, they don't add up to a great film. Had the story been a bit stronger, we would have liked the film more, but as it stands, we give "Going All the Way" a 4.5 out of 10.

    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Sexual scenes and profanity highlight what most parents will probably find the most objectionable in this movie. Several sexual encounters show nudity and sometimes rather explicit movement, and masturbation is implied in one scene. There are also varying degrees of bad attitudes and behavior displayed by the young men. They treat women pretty much as sexual conquests to be had, and Sonny doesn't believe in God. That, and the way his pro-religion mother and an ex-con are presented as overzealous may offend some viewers as well. The young men also do their fare share of drinking and smoking. Although few, if any kids will want to see this film, we suggest that you look through the material should you and/or they want to see it.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see beer and whisky ads early in the film.
  • People drink in the background of several scenes.
  • Gunner drinks beer on a train, and later he and Sonny drink Saki.
  • The guys drink beer in a bar and in other locations several times.
  • Nina pours herself a drink and the guys have beer.
  • We twice see Gunner drinking and driving.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Sonny's hands appear to have a little blood on them after he apparently tried to kill himself with a razorblade. (Due to Gramercy Pictures providing a reel in our preview screening that didn't contain any sound and may have been missing several shots, we didn't see the actual act, and only see him with a bandage around the wrist after he picked up the razor blade. The actual scene may be there.)
  • Sonny's face is black and blue after a car accident.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Depending on your personal views, you may find the material listed below as lesser or greater than a moderate rating.
  • In general, the guys look at women as sexual objects. In one scene, Gunner fixes their girlfriends "Secret Seabreaze" drinks. He says, "The secret is the girls can't taste the vodka," implying that they plan to get the women drunk.
  • Gunner also defends dating other women while having a girlfriend by comparing women with pies. He states that after having the same pie day in and day out, you want a little variety and that there's nothing wrong with that.
  • Some may see the fact that Sonny doesn't believe in God as having both. At different times he says, "F*ck you God" (while throwing a religious pamphlet his mother gave him across his room), "I'm sick of hearing about God," and "I don't believe in God."
  • Some may also dislike the way that the film portrays Sonny's mother and an ex-con as "in your face" religious zealots.
  • Nina isn't happy that Gunner's dating Marty who's Jewish. She tells him, "Don't you know what it means? Don't you know what they have to do for the wedding? The father -- the night before the wedding -- he does it with his own daughter. That's part of the Jew religion."
  • Sonny breaks a planned date with Buddy to go out with Gail.
  • Sonny finds that his parents had hidden postcards addressed to him from Gunner and told him that they hadn't received any.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Sonny has some strange mental flashbacks while driving right before crashing into a tree.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Muff diver," "Loser," "Getting laid" and "Hard on" (both sexual), "Pissing me off," and "Bitch" (toward women).
  • In general, the guys look at women as sexual objects. In one scene, Gunner fixes their girlfriends "Secret Seabreaze" drinks. He says, "The secret is the girls can't taste the vodka," implying that they plan to get the women drunk.
  • Sonny slits his wrist with a razor blade. (Due to Gramercy Pictures providing a reel in our preview screening that didn't contain any sound and may have been missing several shots, we didn't see the actual act, and only see him with a bandage around the wrist after he picked up the razor blade. The actual scene may be there.)
  • We twice see Gunner drinking and driving.
  • Sonny gives "the finger" to the world in general or perhaps to God (again there was no sound in this scene, thus we could only see the action).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There's a minor bit of tense music in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to Gramercy Pictures providing a reel in our preview screening that didn't contain any sound, the following list should be considered a minimum.
  • At least 15 "f" words (4 used sexually), 11 "s" words, 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), 5 hells, 5 damns, 3 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 crap, and 4 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "For God's sakes," 2 of "Oh God," and 1 use each of "God" and "Good Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Sonny stares at Nina's butt.
  • We see Sonny in his underwear.
  • Gunner tells Sonny, about having his mom's apartment to themselves and their dates, "One of us will get the couch, one of us will get the bedroom, and we'll have a f*ckathon." Gunner and his girlfriend then go into the bedroom while Sonny and Buddy undress (we see her bare breasts) and he gets on top of her on the couch. We then hear sexual sounds from the bedroom and then see Sonny's bare butt in the shadows along with moderately explicit sexual movement between him and Buddy.
  • Gunner tells Sonny, "What I wouldn't give for a nice piece of ass."
  • After meeting Marty, Gunner tells Sonny, "I've got such a g-damn hard on, I can barely walk."
  • Nina isn't happy that Gunner's dating Marty who's Jewish. She tells him, "Don't you know what it means? Don't you know what they have to do for the wedding? The father -- the night before the wedding -- he does it with his own daughter. That's part of the Jew religion."
  • Sonny looks through several of his "girly" magazines and we see several photos of bare- breasted women. He then begins to masturbate lying face down on the bed, but is interrupted by someone.
  • Buddy comes into Sonny's bedroom and undresses (we see her bare breasts). She then climbs into bed, on top of Sonny and they have sex. We then see more bare breasts, quite a bit of movement, and hear sexual sounds.
  • Gail does a partial striptease for Sonny and we see her bare breasts. They passionately kiss and get all worked up, but Sonny has to cool down in the bathroom. He then returns, they passionately kiss again and roll around on the floor and she puts her hand down inside his underwear and then stops, presumably due to him already climaxing. (Due to Gramercy Pictures providing a reel in our preview screening that didn't contain any sound, that scene was viewed in silence and may contain sexually related dialogue).
  • SMOKING
  • Both Sonny and Gunner smoke quite often during the film.
  • Marty smokes several times.
  • Others smoke in the backgrounds of scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Sonny and his parents don't see eye to eye. He thinks they're overbearing and that his mother is trying to shove religion down his throat. His mother thinks he's being badly influenced by Gunner.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Viewing and treating women solely as sexual objects.
  • Sonny's mother and her strong desire to force-feed him religion.
  • Suicide attempts.
  • Choosing what you want to be, or do, in your life.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Sonny slits his wrist with a razor blade. (Due to Gramercy Pictures providing a reel in our preview screening that didn't contain any sound and may have been missing several shots, we didn't see the actual act, and only see him with a bandage around the wrist after he picked up the razor blade. The actual scene may be there.)
  • Sonny crashes a car into a tree and is severely injured (we only see him afterwards in the hospital).



  • Reviewed October 3, 1997

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