DVD: Breaking Away (12)

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The Independent Culture

Legions of films promise the "feel-good factor", few provide it. Peter Yates's sun-drenched coming-of-age 1979 movie is a lovely exception.

Four work-shy pals/misfits – including Dave (Dennis Christopher) and Mike (Dennis Quaid) – bum around Bloomington, Indiana, spending most of their time swimming at an abandoned quarry. The four 19-year-olds are sons of blue-collar workers and are labelled "cutters" by the local college students. After a squabble at the quarry, the students and the cutters vow to compete at a prestigious bike race. The cutters are blessed with kooky Dave who is fixated with becoming a world-class cyclist like the Italians he idolises, which drives his dad, Raymond (the wonderful Paul Dooley), to distraction. And the heart of this comedy drama is the relationship between the pragmatic father ("I didn't want you to be this miserable. A little bit's all I asked for") and his dreamy son. Perfect.

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