Synopsis by Mark Deming
While imagining the childhood of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed once wrote, "There's only one good thing about a small town: you hate it, and you know you have to leave." A similar notion seems to have occurred to Mooney Pottie (Liane Balaban), a 15-year-old Canadian girl growing up in a village deep in the rugged coal mining area of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Mooney wants to be an artist and feels out of place among the rough-hewn villagers and her unsophisticated family. When her art teacher, Cecil Sweeney (Andrew McCarthy), tells her that he could arrange for her to attend an art institute in Manhattan, her parents refuse to allow her to go. Stranded in a place she hates, Mooney finally discovers a kindred spirit when new girl Lou (Tara Spencer Nairn) moves into the neighborhood. Lou's father was a boxer from Brooklyn, and she's inherited his talent for fisticuffs; Lou has a way with a sucker punch that soon has all the girls in town begging her to knock out their boyfriends when they get out of line. Mooney and Lou soon team up on a plan that will allow them to move on to bigger and better things. Canadian filmmaker Allan Moyle returned home for this comedy set in the mid-1970s, which features a soundtrack of classic Canadian rock, including vintage tracks by April Wine and The Stampeders.
art, coming-of-age, family, teacher, village, boxing, new-kid-in-town