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That Night

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There’s little in this coming-of-age drama that hasn’t been done to death, yet it works up emotions far out of proportion to the meager story line. In Long Island (cue the doo-wop), a 10-year-old ugly duckling (Eliza Dushku) becomes obsessed with the neighborhood bad girl (Juliette Lewis), eventually acting as go-between in the older girl’s romance with a sensitive greaser (C. Thomas Howell). Writer-director Craig Bolotin leans too heavily on period detail, but That Night clicks whenever it taps into the crazy, stupid madness of teen lust — the kiss under the boardwalk and the anger at an adult world that won’t let that kiss go on forever. And even if Lewis can drive you buggy with her mannerisms — the eyes-lowered simper, the finger jammed between her teeth — the passion behind those mannerisms is astonishing. B-