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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Return of the Secaucus Seven
Directed by John Sayles
MGM Home Entertainment 09/80 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Here's a nice little movie about the baby boom generation. Mike and Katie, two Boston schoolteachers invite some friends up to their summer place in New England. The weekend is designed to be a reunion of sorts all are veterans of the antiwar movement. They call themselves "The Secaucus Seven," referring to the time in 1970 when, while on the way to a Washington protest march, they were slammed in a New Jersey jail. The only outsider is Chip, a fellow who actually believes in "the System" and his ability to bring about change. Throughout the weekend, he desperately tries to prove himself worthy of the group's respect.
Novelist John Sayles wrote, directed, and edited this movie. It is a labor of love. We watch these laidback individuals share their stories and reminisce about the past. Irene, a Senator's speechwriter, wants to convince the others that her boyfriend Chip is o.k. Jeff, a drug counselor, and Maura, a would-be actress, are breaking up. She beds his best friend J.T., a singer/songwriter who is trying to muster the courage for a trip to L.A. and a shot at the big time. Frances, a medical student, shacks up with a local mechanic. The whole group has a humorous run-in with the law.
But these baby boomers can't handle tension; the rift between Jeff and Maura sends tremors through the weekend. And although they put up a front of having a good time, one senses that things haven't turned out well for them either in terms of meaningful relationships or in terms of personal fulfillment. Return of the Secaucus Seven leaves one with a rueful feeling about this generation.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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