Movie Recommendation: The Basketball Diaries (1995)

Quote from The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll: “You’re growing up.  And rain sort of remains on the branches of a tree that will someday rule the Earth.  And it’s good that here is rain.  It clears the month of your sorry rainbow expressions, and it clears the streets of the silent armies… so we can dance.”

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Producers: Chris Blackwell, Dan Genetti, Liz Heller, Kathie Hersch, and John Bard Manulis

Director: Scott Kalvert

Writers: novel by Jim Caroll and adapted screenplay by Bryan Goluboff

Major Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jim Carroll, Lorraine Bracco as Jim’s Mother, Mark Wahlberg as Mickey, Bruno Kirby as Swifty, Juliette Lewis as Diane Moody, Michael Imperioli as Bobby, Ernie Hudson as Reggie, James Madio as Pedro, Patrick McGaw as Neutron, Michael Rapaport as Skinhead, and John Hoyt as Billy the Bartender

Rating: R for graphic depiction of drug addiction with related strong violence, sexuality, and language

Running Time: 1 hour and 42 minutes

The Basketball Diaries is drama biography about Jim Carroll’s years as a drug addicted teenager in New York.  Jim is surrounded by students who have a love for basketball as much as him, but this leads to experimentation with drugs and sex in all the wrong places.  Peer pressure will forever be a mainstay in high schools and while this is nothing new, it isn’t something to disregard.   Jim eventually gets sucked further into the trap called heroin where he spends time more time on the streets than at home.  He flirts with crime when he’s not high and has not a care in his world besides supplying his addiction in any way possible. It is finally with the help of a neighbor Jim finds himself on the path to mild redemption, but it isn’t until he is forced to give up heroin does his life turn around.  When The Basketball Diaries ends, he is now older and wiser with things to say.  There are mixed reviews concerning this movie, but I liked it.  The soundtrack is good and the story of teenage angst is still relevant.  I saw this movie quite some time ago, and wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

I rate The Basketball Diaries GOOD at 80%.

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