Hard Feelings (1982)

R   |    |  Drama


Hard Feelings (1982) Poster

It's 1963 and teenage Barnie has problems. School bullies are after him, his family is dysfunctional and his girl Leslie screws around. On the run from bullies, he hides in the African-American part of town and meets cute Winona.


5.9/10
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1 October 2012 | Rainbowwarrior1622
6
| OK plot but some major flaws
This hard-to-find film is only available of VHS and only available second hand. I did get my hand on this and checked it out.

The movie is about a teenager dealing with a girl friend, while controlling his raging hormones, dealing with bullies and finding love in an unlikely place.

The Central Character is Barnie, a pretty average teen. Not really good or bad but just average. He has a steady girl friend and fools around with the school tramp (played by Stephanie Miller.. yes the talk show host in an early role.) He then has a run in with the school bully and leaves town to get away. He then finds romance with an African American cutie. Oh.. and this happens in the 60s when inter racial dating was pretty much taboo.

Well no need for a spoiler alert here. I will not give the rest away.

What I will say is that the movie has potential. It explores class and racial divisions and has the old theme of a set-upon kid standing up for himself.

But where the movie fails, in my opinion is its failure to develop its characters. The hero, Barnie is not really the kind of kid you would expect to be the victim of bullies. He is smart, good looking, athletic and quite honestly is not all that likable. Not really dislikable, just pretty mediocre.

Russel Linwood, the bully is not really mean as he is psychotic. We never learn why he has focused his anger towards Barnie but I for one, was never convinced that he was really that much a threat. Just a quiet and somewhat crazy dude with a chip on his shoulder.

Films which show teens responding to bullies, such as Karate Kid have one thing that make them work. And that is that the central characters are people that we can identify with. They are set upon, tormented and insecure. I did not see any of that in Barnie.

Still the depiction of the 1960s society was pretty compelling and made the film hold my interest.

Oh.. one more thing. If you are expecting to see nudity, you will see almost none. Just a scene of Barnie's bare bottom for a split second and no female nudity. Just an FYI.

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