Nearing Grace
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A teenage boy tries to hold his family together while the girl of his dreams drives him to distraction in this coming-of-age comedy drama. It's 1978, and Henry Nearing (Gregory Smith) and his family are in a state of flux. Henry's mother has died, and now his father, Shep (David Morse), is trying to find himself by quitting his job, buying a motorcycle, and growing out his hair. Henry's brother, Blair (David Moscow), is similarly trying to expand his boundaries by dating a free-spirited girl and experimenting with drugs. Henry, meanwhile, is just trying to get through high school,… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Moral dilemmas faced by immature teens is fine fare for young-adult fiction, but a movie that wants them to be taken as something bigger needs better management than Nearing Grace can provide."
‑ Ted Fry, Seattle Times
"...cinematic youth has rarely seemed so convincingly uncertain, and Brewster could definitely drive a young guy crazy."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, Village Voice
"It feels like perhaps the screenplay was intensely personal and/or autobiographical, yet it's suspiciously lacking in any dramatic tension."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"The story is small, but their performances give it depth and weight."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The tone is psychological realism, as opposed to, say, American Pie-style burlesque. But the main emphasis is on sex and drugs anyway. In any case, it's not very illuminating."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"The story here is as dog-eared as an old beach book, and about as deep."
‑ Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger
"Smart, funny and, thanks in no small part to David Geddes' cinematography, it occasionally approaches the poetic."
‑ Michael Ordoņa, Los Angeles Times
"It's so exceptionally well done, so exceedingly well-cast that it makes one realize how few such films actually succeed at all."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"It's also refreshingly low-key and more intelligent than 90% of the movies aimed at the teen crowd. That by itself is a fine achievement."
‑ Pam Grady,
"Nearing Grace means to be a gritty look at what it was like to come of age in the late '70s, but its reality is hampered by the unreal pretentiousness of every word the characters utter."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"The performances by Smith, Brewster and veteran David Morse, as a morbidly depressed widower, elevate Nearing Grace to something near grace."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"Bursting with hormones, angst, humor and heartbreak, Rick Rosenthal's Nearing Grace, set during the late 1970's in suburban New Jersey, follows a teenager's efforts to survive both the recent loss of his mother and his senior year of high school."
‑ Laura Kern, New York Times
"A fine coming-of-age drama about a sexually eager young man who discovers that anything is possible with a friend who is loving and trustworthy after years of giving and forgiving."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"[It] makes you feel like a heel for not liking it: Independently made and heartfelt, it also happens to have been shot in Portland. Nonetheless, the accumulation of cliches big and small manage to erase whatever goodwill its other features have engendered"
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
"The dialogue is full of fortune cookie aphorisms and stilted literary phrases that were never meant to be spoken aloud."
‑ Bill White, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
More reviews for Nearing Grace on Rotten Tomatoes