February 01, 1988 12:00 PM

Just when you’re expecting another baby picture or generic teen comedy, along comes this attempt to explore a real problem—teenage pregnancy. But, as written by Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue, who wrote About Last Night, and as directed by John (The Karate Kid) Avildsen, For Keeps is a one-note public service announcement. Molly Ringwald and newcomer Randall Batinkoff are the brightest, best-looking couple at their high school. They’re also responsible—Ringwald’s taking the pill—but she still gets pregnant. Against their parents’ wishes, they put their ambitions on hold and keep the baby. But the poignancy of dashed dreams never sinks in. There aren’t enough counter-balancing moments of childishness to suggest what might have been. It’s all hopelessness. It’s great to see Miss Molly try a role with some substance, and Batinkoff is engaging. For Keeps would make a decent sex-education film about what a huge burden a baby can be for teenagers. But as all good teachers know, there’s more to a good lesson than just telling the truth. You have to keep people’s attention too. (PG-13)

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