Synopsis by Mark Deming
Two men return home from the Army to find that their attitudes on life, love, and the town where they grew up have changed in this bittersweet coming-of-age drama. Sonny Burns (Jeremy Davies) and Gunner Casselman (Ben Affleck) are two guys from Indianapolis who were drafted during the Korean War. In high school, Gunner was a football player and big man on campus, while Sonny was a social outcast who kept to himself. Sonny spent most of his hitch in the Army in Kansas City, while Gunner was stationed in Japan and found his perspectives changed by exposure to Asian philosophies. Gunner and Sonny run into each other on a troop train as they return to Indiana in 1954. While they were never close in school, Gunner finds himself reaching out to Sonny, believing that Sonny is a deep thinker, though Sonny spends a lot more time thinking about girls than his place in the universe. Sonny has a girlfriend, Buddy (Amy Locane), who would like to get married; Sonny's mother Alma (Jill Clayburgh) is almost as eager as Buddy to see her son head to the altar, but Sonny doesn't find Buddy very interesting, and he's not sure if he wants to settle in Indianapolis. He's far more attracted to Gail (Rose McGowan), an exotic looking brunette who appeals to his girly-magazine fantasies, but while he can make love to Buddy, he's struck with impotence when Gail offers to sleep with him. Meanwhile, Gunner has fallen in love with Marty Pilcher (Rachel Weisz), a sexy Jewish woman, but Gunner's mother Nina (Lesley Ann Warren), who seems inappropriately fond of her son, doesn't care for Marty and spouts anti-Semitic venom at her son in hopes of driving him away from his new girlfriend. Like Sonny, Gunner finds himself thinking that his destiny lies outside of his home town. Dan Wakefield wrote the screenplay for Going All the Way, based on his own novel.
athlete, coming-of-age, disillusionment, friendship, homecoming, life-choices, veteran [military]