In an updated version of the 1955 film, Rebel Without A Cause, Jim (Keanu Reeves) lies on the floor as he watches a toy and claps. A siren wails near him. Judy (Paula Abdul) walks into the police station. The police officer opens his office door and she sits down, crying. She says “he doesn’t care.” The police wants to know who she is talking out.
Jim screams as he leans against of the wall of the second police officer’s office. He hits his head on the desk. The police officer implores for him to talk. Jim shouts that “all I ever do is talk!” The police officer asks: “your parents?”
Judy explains that her father could care less about her. She says she can’t have a conversation with him. Through a peephole, Jim watches his parents argue in the lobby. He tells the officer that his mom is eviscerating her dad. His head on the desk, Jim says he could run away and they wouldn’t have to worry about him anymore. The police officer asks him why he “put the kid in the hospital.” Jim says he didn’t want the kid to be harmed. He adds that people call him a loser.
Judy breaks down after the officer suggests that perhaps her father is taking his anger out on her. By the door, Jim swears he won’t be his parents. “A loser?” The officer asks. Looking through the peephole, Jim answers “how are you supposed to grow up in the middle of that?”
A film reel counts down against a screen.
Judy meets Jim as she walks in her neighborhood. She touches her chin and says goodbye to him as she gets into her boyfriend’s car. Her boyfriend asks if she knows that guy.
In a bedroom, Abdul wears an orange gown. She stands behind a screen, which projects her image.
Jim says hello to Judy while parked in his car. Her boyfriend and his friends mock him.
Against a black background, she wears a pointy bar and moves her arm.
Jim arrives at the planetarium and nods as the guide points to the ceiling. Judy, sitting to next to her boyfriend, smiles to herself once she notices him. At school, Jim sits on the railing on balcony and watches Judy pass by with her friends. She stares at him while she applies blush. Her boyfriend pulls out his knife and cuts his tire.
During a game of chicken, Judy runs in the middle of the road and raises her arms. Jim and her boyfriend rev up their engines. She pulls them down and they speed down the road. Jim gets out of his car. However, her boyfriend is not able to and careens into the lake. They group runs over and watches as the car sinks into the water.
Judy asks Jim he has ever been in love. Jim answers that he wouldn’t be able to tell. He turns the question back to her and she answers no. She believes it’s terrible. He assures it’s not and that “it’s a reminder that we’re all alone.” They run up the stairs of an abandoned mansion. She lights a candle some candles. He stands behind her in the bathroom and puts a mirror on the counter. They kiss in bed.
She holds his hand by the water and then blows out the candles in the mansion.
Judy and Jim run away together, starting over in new town. While in bed, she tells Jim that she never felt like she fit in the town. She was going along with what everyone expected of her. However, for her father, nothing was ever good enough. She doubt her father has called the police and filed a report. Her mother doesn’t dare say a word. Jim says his parents weaponize him during their fights. He confesses to Judy that up until now, he never wanted to get married.
A few months, Jim and Judy settle into an apartment. They had scraped together what little they had. Both had been saving up for whenever the right moment came along. Leaving was eventual. Sometimes Judy looks on the walls, searching for pictures of herself, stating missing. However, none seem to exist. She glances over her shoulder to see if someone is following her. Jim calls his father and tells him they are both okay. His father urges him to come home.
During dinner, Jim brings up going home to Judy. She says that although she misses it, she’d rather be with him. Jim pats her hand and says she’s no longer alone. His parents want to help and have offered her a place to stay. Judy says she needs to think about it.
With the omission of Plato from the 1955 film, Judy and Jim really have only each other. Their bond deepens after her boyfriend’s drowning. It is then they decide to leave town and vow never to return. By editing out Plato, neither have an incentive to go back. It becomes a reluctant love story as two unlikely people fall for each other. They are able to become grow in a different town and begin again.
Director: Stefan Würnitzer Year: 1991
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