Breaking Away (1979) is, in my opinion, one of the all-time best coming of age films. From the late, great director Peter Yates comes the story of Dave (Dennis Christopher), a small-town American boy with big Italian dreams; much to the chagrin of his family, Dave fantasizes about Italian food, women, language, and film, but more than anything he dreams of being a member of their famous Cinzano cycling team.
Breaking Away follows the trials and tribulations of Dave and his best friends, Mike (Dennis Quaid), Cyril (Daniel Stern), and Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley), as they overcome life’s adversities in Bloomington, Indian – a small town whose main attraction is a major university with matching snobbery.
And when the team of Dave’s dreams come to his hometown (gasp!), Dave comes the disappointing realization that his cycling gods are pompous Italian jerks, just like the cycling snobs at the university. But in the face of such utter, bitter, heart-breaking disappointment, Dave and his friends (of course) are able to use their pain and disillusionment to fuel an inspiring mission at the local racing competition, “the Little 500.”
This Oscar-winning film is a feel-good must see!