Top positive review
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A sweet, underrated coming of age story.
on March 6, 2000
"Heaven Help Us" is a story of growing up Catholic in the Brooklyn of the mid-60's. A story of friendship and first love.
Andrew McCarthy plays Michael Dunn, a sensitive teenager, who along with his sister, has to come to live with grandparents in Brooklyn after the deaths of their parents. There he attends an all-boys Catholic high school, St. Basil's. Being the new kid, he has a tough time adjusting; but eventually befriends an outcast intellectual, Caesar; a not too bright, troublemaker, Rooney; and Rooney's not too bright toadies, Williams and Corbet. Dunn also strikes up a relationship with Danni, a girl who works at the local soda shop. This causes friction with his school because the shop is supposed to be off-limits for St. Basil students, and with his family who want him to become a priest. In spite of those barriers, a very sweet romance blossoms between Dunn and Danni.
"Heaven Help Us" contains alot of laughs, mainly from Kevin Dillon's rather obtuse character, Rooney. It boasts a great soundtrack of mid-60's motown tunes. There is also a definite "Celtic" taste to this movie. The surnames of the characters are mostly Irish: Dunn, Rooney, Corbet; as are the actors who play those roles: McCarthy, Dillon, and Dempsey. Occasionally, the soundtrack breaks into tradional Celtic music with bodhrans and uillean pipes which further emphasizes the film's Irish-American focus; even though the word "Irish" is never mentioned.
Overall, one of the most overlooked teen films of the 80's. A fun, sweet, little movie.