Nearing Grace
Gregory Smith, Jordana Brewster,
Ashley Johnson, David Morse
Directed by Rick Rosenthal
VVS 2008
105 minutes

Nearing Grace is a very good coming of age teen angst quasi romantic comedy DVD. It is much better than the usual teen fare thanks to some solid acting by Gregory Smith as Henry Nearing, a senior who has just lost his mother and Jordana Brewster as the temptress who wants to seduce Henry just for sport and even if they both know she will not leave her boyfriend.

Also excellent is Johnson who plays Myrna, the classic third in a romantic triangle and Henry’s best friend since second grade. As Henry Nearing thinks he is nearing grace, he is moving away from Myrna.

This teen romantic comedic drama is also better than most because it does not go for the obvious (aside from what happens to the mother’s ashes) jokes and the teens in this movie are real people and not Hollywoodized clones from other teen movies.

That there is an actually intelligent and interesting story is another plus in favor of Nearing Grace.

Granted, this DVD is sometimes soundtrack heavy but the seventies music used here is good stuff -and so, it seems, is the industrial quantity of pot Henry smokes.

There are also a few indulgent moments such as the variation on the Tom Cruise Risky Business scene but they are surpassed by more subtle stuff like the very brief shot of The Hulk TV show when Henry comes home after part of an evening with Grace.

Nearing Grace is a romantic drama with a very present sense of humor. At 105 minutes it is a bit too long for its own good.

There are one or two Grace and Henry scenes too many and that just belabor the point  but the story does carry your interest to the end.

Nearing Grace is a smart, very well acted, well written romantic comedy drama.


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