Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Growing Up in Perilous World

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Growing Up in Perilous World

Article excerpt


No MPAA rating, contains very strong language and adolescent sexual scenes. Running time: 1:30.

`KIDS" is shocking from its opening scene, with a boy in his mid-teens and a girl who is barely past adolescence sitting on a bed, half-clothed, kissing as if they want to swallow each other. Between kisses, the boy (Leo Fitzpatrick) talks the shy, reluctant girl into having sex with him.

We are pretty sure the boy is feeding the girl a line when he tells her how much he cares for her, and how gentle he will be. He is not gentle, and the next scene, in which he brags about his conquest to a buddy, is shattering in the callousness of its language, combined with the youth of the two boys.

It confirms what a rat this boy is - but he is not all that different from the other boys in the movie, awash in an ocean of sex, drugs (including alcohol) and violence.

The crucial question about this horrifying movie about growing up completely absurd in contemporary urban America is how much it reflects reality.

It certainly seems real, at times revoltingly so, in its documentary-style look at young teen-agers and their avid imitators, their even younger brothers and (occasionally) sisters.

(On the whole, the girls are pawns in the boys' game, no matter how frankly and obscenely they may discuss the most intimate details of sex.)

Most of "Kids" takes place in and around Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, which is not exactly Webster Groves or Washington, Mo.

And these kids are not off in a corner of the park playing chess, determined to be the next Bobby Fischer, or walking through on their way to school. They seem, in the main, to be dead-end kids.

On the other hand, children everywhere these days are bombarded by the images of an adult culture they may not be able to process, particularly without guidance.

It is important to note that, with one minor exception, there are essentially no parents and no believable authority figures in "Kids. …

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