This made for television film is the directorial debut of actor Danny Glover.
Henry Sturbuck (Jeremy Sumpter) is a 12 year old in a small Nevada town in 1960. In the opening scene we see that their car is being towed by a local mechanic JM Hoagland (Carl Lumbly.) Few words are exchanged between between his father who is the local doctor and JM who is black. In fact JM hardly opens his mouth in this early minutes.
Dr Sturbuck arranged a summer job for Henry in the local bar to broaden his horizons and get to know a little about the world. He becomes friends with JM, Cecil, the local Indian bartender and Cindy, the tough bar owner.
It seems Henry has had a strict upbringing such as never been to see a movie which his father wants to rectify. We get the feeling that his parent's marriage has become distant as his father spends a lot of time away from home being on call at the hospital.
Henry becomes friends with JM who almost acts like a father figure to him. Henry hangs around his garage, go to the movies, he even teaches him to drive. JM idolises Marilyn Monroe and lo and behold, one day a film crew arrives for the filming of The Misfits which stars Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.
That summer Henry learns lesson about his life as he works in the bar, spends time with JM and hangs around the film set where his father gets a job as the on set doctor.
This is a slight film but charming, somehow a little predictable as well. You can sense the racial tension between some of the locals and the black and native American characters in the early 1960s.
However the film is more about growing up and having dreams noting that these dreams are somehow always unobtainable. The catalyst is that CJ adores Marilyn but when she comes to town he knows that it is no use wanting to meet her, she would want nothing do with him.
The film is narrated by Ed Harris who is the elder Henry. It is nice but really light on plot.