Wade Sowers’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rosanna Arquette, a middle class girl in her last year of high school, has just won the lead in the school play with the support of her admiring drama teacher, when she becomes the focus of attention of Vincent Spano, the working class son of a garbage collector. The unlikely romance between this nice Jewish girl and an Italian boy who breaks all the rules causes concern for Arquette's teachers and her partents who are afraid she will be derailed from her long held dream - to attend Sarah Lawrence College and pursue an acting career. Spano is a dreamer himself, but his is to be a singer like his hero Frank Sinatra, and avoids attending class while he spends his money (from an unknown source) on sharp clothes and hangs out in a bar with guys who might be gangsters. The first half of the film is quite amusing as these two characters fumble their way through a high school romance lasting until graduation, then becomes serious as their plans for life do not work out as expected. College is unforgiving as Arquette is surrounded by dozens of girls who were the best in their respective schools and seem from a different social class, she is without many friends ("She's my friend, nobody likes her either.") and not the center of attention anymore, while Spano learns that self-confidence can only carry you so far, and they both learn that class divisions decided by the randomness of birth will follow them throughout their lives. Writer/director John Sayles does a fine job in both roles, creating characters who seem complex and real, even those in small supporting roles. He has also assembled one of the great sound tracks, stuffed with songs from the 60's, and including work by Bruce Springsteen. Since the film is set in the 60's, some of these had not yet been written, but how could you do a film about New Jersey, and include a visit to the Asbury Park Boardwalk, without Springsteen? The Olive Blu-ray looks and sounds fine.