This charming, Academy Award winner (1979, Screenplay) cycles high on comedy as four friends come to... terms with life after high school. When top-notch cyclist Dave (Dennis Christopher) learns that the world's bicycling champions are always Italian, he attempts to turn himself into an Italian, driving his parents (Barbara Barrie, Paul Dooley) crazy. But everything changes after he meets the Italian racing team-an encounter that ultimately leads him and his friends (Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley) to challenge the local college boys in the town's annual bike race.
27 years after its release, my memory had managed to turn Breaking Away into ‘a movie about cycling,’ all its other details lost to time. Upon rewatching it, I realize now why that happened: Breaking Away isn’t about much at all. It’s a small, almost silly little movie that takes the setup of The Outsiders — rich kids vs. working class — and throws in some bikes. Despite a reasonably fun performance from Daniel Stern, Dennis Quaid earnest overacting sinks what could have been a quaint film about middle America.