This gentle, warm-hearted comedy-drama about a group of five young men in Baltimore in 1959 was director Barry Levinson’s debut feature and it remains among his finest work.
For these young men, the local diner is the world – a place in which to laugh, cry, reminisce, and make plans. This is their golden week, as they celebrate Christmas and face up to adulthood which means saying goodbye to love, and the diner.
It’s a sympathetic portrait of youth on the threshold of adulthood that’s episodic in structure, but not just nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake. It also happens to be rather funny.
In addition, Levinson shows a remarkable eye for talent – at the time, most of the performers were far from being household names – Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Kevin Bacon, Daniel Stern and Paul Reiser all boosted their careers after appearing in this movie.