Oh, the psychic pain and anguish of being an outsider in adolescence! Fourteen-year-old Alan (called Quack Quack) prays to God that one day he can kiss Ann, the lovely lass at school who doesn't even acknowledge his existence. In fact, when the girls take a poll on the most smashing boys, he isn't even mentioned. Alan, who sees life in terms of cricket, is given a chance to accomplish his goal in true competitive fashion when Miss Land, the English teacher, casts him in a three character play oppoiste Ann.

Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park) directs this touching character portrait in the "First Love" series produced by David Puttnam for Goldcrest Films. The tidy screenplay by Jack Rosenthal nicely conveys the experience of romantic love as Alan aches, longs for personal recognition by Ann, and then, once he gets to know her, fears rejection. The surprising finale speaks volumes about growing up as Alan's dream of the perfect kiss comes in for a re-evaluation. Kipperbang, in the spirit of Gregory's Girl, is idiosyncratic and episodic but touches lightly and convincingly on universal aspects of first love.