This 1995 import, which never made it into US theaters, scored an American video release in 2003 when the combined success of ingenue Alicia Silverstone and James Gandolfini of TV's The Sopranos lent it some star power. Set in the 1950s, the story involves the American Occupation period when US troops remained in place as a bulwark against communism; they're resented by some French citizens and regarded by others especially apolitical youngsters as somewhat glamorous. Sixteen-year-old sweethearts Patrick Carrion (Nicolas Chatel) and Marie-Jose Vire (Sarah Grappin) are infatuated with coca cola, rock and roll and blue jeans. When Patrick takes a whopping for confronting anti-Yankee sympathizers, Sergeant Will Caberra (James Gandolfini) practically adopts the impressionable adolescent, lavishing gifts from the PX on the lad. Predictable tensions arise, since Patrick's father, Dr. Carrion (Guy Marchand), expects his son to focus on studying, not playing in an American-style jazz combo. And Marie-Jose isn't keen on Patrick's infatuation with American teenager Trudy Wadd (Alicia Silverstone). But as Patrick who idolizaes African-American jazz musicians drifts away from his friends and family, he starts to see another side of Sgt. Caberra, a racist who doesn't believe people of different races should mingle. As Patrick tries to understand his
Benefactor's hypocritical prejudices, Marie-Jose retaliates by dating the much older Sgt. Caberra, who's also married. Caberra leads her on after she reveals her dreams of moving to the USA with him. Eventually French President Charles DeGaulle orders the evacuation of American troops, and Caberra, on a drunken bender celebrating his imminent return home, has a fatal car accident. As Patrick's band breaks up, the once-admired Americans depart for their homeland, leaving Patrick and Marie-Jose to terms with the culture clash they’ve experienced and move on with their lives. If the nostalgic television series American Dreams had been made by Gallic xenophobes, the result might have been something like director Alain Corneau's portrait of ugly Americans corrupting French youth.
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: This 1995 import, which never made it into US theaters, scored an American video release in 2003 when the combined success of ingenue Alicia Silverstone and James Gandolfini of TV's The Sopranos lent it some star power. Set in the 1950s, the story involves… (more)