Rated 3.0

Here’s a change of pace: a teen drama that tries to feel real. Carlos (Jay Hernandez) rides from East Los Angeles each morning to attend a prestigious Pacific Palisades high school. Nicole (Kirsten Dunst) is a self-destructive daughter of a congressman who treats school as a bad joke. Their coupling begins as a sort of Romeo-and-Juliet flirtation but expands into a story about neglected emotional wounds, parental regret, defiance and the intensity and cleansing power of young love. The film features a killer soundtrack and solid direction from co-writer John Stockwell.