Colin Farrell may be the star here, but the best part of the film's been and gone by the time he shows up. We're talking about the extended prologue that introduces us to Bobby and Jonathan, teenhood pals in '60s Cleveland whose sensitively sketched relationship revolves around drugs, rock'n'roll and, yes, sex. It's a daring, evocative, emotion-stirring sequence that also features one of the best trying-a-joint-for-the-first-time scenes ever.
Alas, the film drops out of the four-star zone when it hops forward to '80s New York, where Bobby (a badly wigged Farrell) forms a bizarre but overly cosy love triangle with his now openly gay friend (Dallas Robert) and eccentric roommate Clare (Robin Wright Penn).
The acting's fine (though Farrell overdoes the puppy-dog eyes) and the sentiments heartfelt, but the only greatness that's carried over from the opening is Sissy Spacek's fantastic performance as Jonathan's mum.