It is left ambiguous whether or not he her; it is implied that she isn't the same person we met at the beginning of the film. When they emerge, they look like the runners-up in the Madonna look-alike contest. This is the setup for the second half of the movie, which is an astonishing denouement. Oates's story, adapted by and directed by , is about a young girl who is surrounded by sexuality, who is curious about it, who flirts dangerously in the wrong places, and who not only learns her lesson, but grows up, all at once, into a different person than she was. To Connie, however, he's every trashy dream come true.
Williams, in what is a comparatively brief role, comes very close to stealing the picture from her. At 68th Street Playhouse, at Third Avenue. Some live in the moment, but these others -- these waiting ones -- seem to be the victims of time. Without spoiling it too much, she exudes an almost unbearably tense mixture of fear, arousal, and confusion that makes the rest of the movie or maybe the rest of movies seem belabored. Although the movie is shocking, it is not sensational in the way it might have been - if it had been handled as a horror story, say, instead of as a morality play. Fifteen-year-old Connie Laura Dern spends the summer before her sophomore year fixating on getting male attention. It's funny, but there's also something menacing about it, like the high, thin clouds that always seem to be neutralizing the light but not the heat of the Marin County summer sun.
One day, while the rest of her family is having a barbeque, Connie is confronted at home by a handsome, dangerous stranger, Arnold Friend Treat Williams , who has been watching her. Connie passes the time cruising the local shopping mall with her friends and flirting with boys. She starts to get scared and tells him to go, but he coerces her into going with him, threatening to burn down the house, while his friend remains at the house, supposedly to watch over it while they are gone. Says her exasperated, not unfond mother, ''I look into your eyes and all I see are trashy dreams. Connie fights with her parents.
She's the ultimate 15-year-old sophisticate. She is a chameleon who looks 12 in one shot and 18 in the next, and is able to suggest the depth of her unhappiness by the way she tries to seem cheerful. Connie waits through the long, endless afternoons of summer. The and main character, Connie Wyatt, is played by. The , Arnold Friend, is played by.
When she returns home, is bewildered and dishevelled. What can and should be talked about are the achievements of everyone connected with ''Smooth Talk. When an actual date leads to heavy petting, however, she flees from the boy's car. He looks at her as if he were seeing someone else. Though feature-length, it has an unconventional, short-story shape. Connie is played by , an actress who seems perfectly suited to this role. Thankfully, the movie is a damn fine interpretation of Oates's story.
What he does is much worse than that. He says his name is Arnold Friend, and that he wants to be her friend. It stretches before them in long, empty hours. Nothing much seems to happen. Arnold Treat Williams , however, isn't a boy. They are the sort of teen-agers who do their best to be just like everyone else and - somehow, mysteriously - are revealed to be idiosyncratic individuals, much to their own embarrassment. He does not physically rape her.
Leave the movie before it's over, and you miss almost everything, because what Connie does at the very end of the film is necessary. Then there is a transformation scene. He talks to her in a way that forever brings an end to her innocence. More about that can't be said without revealing the movie's eerie secret. I don't want to oversell ''Smooth Talk.
Advertisement Though Miss Chopra and Mr. It is a need to be someone else, somewhere else. Everything about this guy is all wrong. Cole have expanded the story, and supplied information Miss Oates saw fit to leave out, ''Smooth Talk'' is as spare and lean as the source material. He dresses and acts like , and name-drops several acts, even though he is much older than she is. Genre: , , Stars: , , , , , , , Director: Joyce Chopra Country: , Rating: 5. Others will see it as a modern morality tale, a Grimm story for the late 20th century, a time when evil seems more banal and seductive than it should.