Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 14, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Telling Lies in America

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
performer
Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Joe Eszterhaus, Brad Renfro
director
Guy Ferland
genre
Drama

We gave it a C+

Kevin Bacon’s sharply drawn portrayal of a 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. Brad Renfro plays the Eszterhas stand-in, an ostracized, Hungarian-born teenager who becomes the DJ’s malleable assistant. Yet the young man is never more than a sketch, and his path to Americanness is far less interesting than his mentor’s crooked road to ruin. C+

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