July 05, 1982 12:00 PM

Writer/director Bill Forsyth’s modest gem about a gawky Scottish teenager aching for a date with his school’s soccer-playing bombshell soars with warmth and quirky invention. As Gregory, Gordon John Sinclair is so endearingly, excruciatingly awkward around the schoolgirl, played winningly by newcomer Dee Hepburn, that you have to laugh at and cry for him. Forsyth makes almost every scene sparkle with some offbeat twist: Sinclair rolls on deodorant over his shirt; he places his hands over his breasts when the more seasoned, less modest Hepburn surprises him in the locker room. Even the minor roles are brillantly crafted, notably Allison Forster as Gregory’s wisdom-dispensing 10-year-old sister. The unexpected climax is a wonderful ending to a film with the bright, real spirit of Breaking Away. (PG)

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