The story of a well-to-do prep school youth, Kelley (Chris Klein), who is sentenced to spend the summer in a small town, rebuilding a diner that he accidentally helped burn down. Once there, he forges a bond with an underprivileged girl, Samantha (Leelee Sobieski), who is living with a terminal illness. As the summer wanes and Kelley must confront the realities of life, he learns a valuable lesson that culminates in his valedictorian speech on graduation day.
Mark Piznarski - Director/"Death Benefit"
Michael Seitzman - Writer/Director
Michael Rooker - American Actor
Michael D. O'Shea - Director of Photography
Chris Klein - Actor
Leelee Sobieski - American film & telelvision actress, PUBLIC ENEMIES, DEEP IM
Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski - American film & telelvision actress, PUBLIC ENEMIES, DEEP IM
Dina Lipton - Art Director
Annie Corley - Actress
Annette O'Toole - Actress
Stuart Wilson - British Film/TV Actor
Isis Mussenden - Costume Designer
David T. Friendly - Producer
Josh Hartnett - Actor
Bruce Greenwood - Actor, 13 DAYS (2000), DOUBLE JEOPARDY (1999)
Robert Frazen - Editor, FRIENDS WITH MONEY (2006)
In a sleepy Massachusetts town near the Berkshires, Kelley (Klein) is graduating from an exclusive prep school as valedictorian of his class. Out on a joyride in the Mercedes he got as a graduation gift, he struts into the local hangout, Mable's Table--frequented by public school kids but off-limits to preppies--flirts with the waitress, Samantha (Sobieski), and fights with her boyfriend, Jasper (Hartnett). An ensuing drag race results in an accident that causes the diner to explode and burn down. As punishment, Kelley misses graduation and is sentenced by a judge to spend the summer in Putnam, renting a room from Jasper's family, rebuilding the diner, and, "building character." But the only thing Kelley builds is a teenage hunger for Samantha, who is easily romanced away from Jasper. Kelley and Sam spend the summer exploring the woods and reciting their favorite poem, "Birches" by Robert Frost. From there, the story turns tragic.
"...It's an old-fashioned story of young love, enlivened by an attractive cast and settings..." - 03/24/2000 Los Angeles Times, p.F10
"...Leelee Sobieski is really very good in this movie..." - 03/24/2000 Chicago Sun-Times, p.29