Telling Lies in America Kevin Bacon’s passionate, sharply drawn portrayal of Billy Magic, a slick, finger-snapping, payola-pocketing disc jockey in early 1960s Cleveland, is the best thing about this conventional but heartfelt semiautobiographical coming-of-age story, written by Joe Eszterhas — who knew he was such a big softie? — and directed with an eye for nostalgia by Guy Ferland (The Babysitter). Unfortunately, it’s not Billy Magic’s story we’re here to ponder. The stage belongs to Eszterhas stand-in Karchy Jonas (The Client’s Brad Renfro, working stiffly), an ostracized Hungarian-born teenager trying to find a place for himself in rock & roll America, who, displaying a survivor’s instinct for subterfuge and self-invention, is taken on by Billy as a malleable gofer. Everything he knows about America, Eszterhas seems to be saying, he learned from a compromised mentor who dazzled and betrayed him. Yet Karchy himself is never more than a sketch of a young man, his path to American-ness far less interesting than Billy’s reckless, post-Quiz Show-era road to ruin. Teaching young Karchy about love, meanwhile, is Calista Flockhart (TV’s Ally McBeal) as a nice girl who expects better of her beaux than the bluster of a raw-boned immigrant. C+
Telling Lies in America Telling Lies in America Kevin Bacon's passionate, sharply drawn portrayal of Billy Magic, a slick, finger-snapping, payola-pocketing...Telling Lies in AmericaDramaPG-13 Telling Lies in America Kevin Bacon's passionate, sharply drawn portrayal of Billy Magic, a slick, finger-snapping, payola-pocketing...1997-11-07
Genre: Drama; Starring: Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Joe Eszterhaus, Brad Renfro; Director: Guy Ferland; MPAA Rating: PG-13
Posted November 7 1997 — 12:00 AM EST
- Bob Saget joins 'Fuller House,' says John Stamos in a tweet
- 'Wayward Pines' boss Chad Hodge talks episode 3: The Terrence Howard hymnal you didn't hear
- National Spelling Bee announces two champions
- '19 Kids & Counting' nix: Hulu exec says...
- Mariah Carey: 'Idol' was 'worst experience of my life'
- Kristen Bell live tweets her mistaken UberPool ride
- Casting Net: B.J. Novak joins Michael Keaton's 'The Founder,' Will Forte boards Key & Peele comedy