Sunday, January 30, 2005

Permanent Record (1988)

Well, in 1988, I was busy - graduating college, getting married, setting up our apartment, student-teaching, adjusting to married life, etc... So it isn't surprising that I missed this movie then. I am glad that I finally discovered it!

Permanent Record tells a story of two best friends. David is a talented popular college-bound student; Chris is also a talented guy, but aimless and happy-go-lucky. When David commits suicide, Chris and the entire community must deal with the aftermath. This story unfolds through snapshots of the lives of the teens involved, rather than an action-driven straightforward plot.

A young Keanu Reeves shines as Chris, struggling to make sense of his friend's death and agonizing over what he could have done to prevent it. The actresses playing the teenage girls gave strained performances, with the exception of the actress playing Kim.

Interesting to note: Keanu Reeves auditioned for the role of David, but instead was cast as the more pivotal role of Chris. Also, Keanu thought the feel-good ending of the film was a cop-out. I'm not sure I agree with him there, but I'll refrain from any spoiler comments.

Memorable moments:
-Chris crying in regret and sadness in the arms of David's father
-Chris playing guitar in the recording studio
-Lauren singing Chris' song onstage
-David's little brother telling Chris that David is dead
-David's mom in terror thinking David's little brother has been hurt
-Kim and David discussing their affair

The movie is rated PG-13 and contains mature themes - suicide and sexual themes -, as well as teenage drinking, and probably some strong language as well. Not a movie for young children, but teens would benefit by viewing this film and discussing it. I am glad that I watched it!
This movie is not reviewed at

Please comment if you have seen this film.


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