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.
This film, the second in Williams' career, has an interesting start, tracing the life of a young bastard with a stern nurse for a mother. But when mother becomes a feminist icon and people start getting shot, Garp gets a little preachy -- okay, a lot preachy -- and ultimately loses its charm.