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In 1963, the night before the 18 years old "Birdlace" Eddie and his friends are shipped to Vietnam. They play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': all of them seek a woman for a party, and who finds the most ugly one, wins a prize. Eddie finds the lonesome pacifist Rose working in a coffee shop. She's happy to accompany him - but then she sees through the game. However by this time he already learned to like her, so he follows her home. Will he manage to win her heart despite their differences?Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
River Phoenix's marine haircut (called a "high-and-tight") was deemed so unflattering that Warner Bros. requested highlights be added to Phoenix's hair to soften the young actor's appearance. See more »
The picture of American musician Bob Dylan that Rose points out to on her wall was taken in 1964, while the scene takes place in 1963. See more »
With the exception of that home video my ex made with her new boyfriend, "Dogfight" is the most upsetting film I've ever watched. The plot involves US Marines bound for duty (and possibly death) in Vietnam, having one last night on the town in San Francisco. As a challenge to each other, the lads partcipate in a game called dogfight, where the guy who brings the ugliest date (the "biggest dog") wins.
Even more disgusting than the game itself is the way Lili Taylor's character, the gentle Rose, gets roped in--eagerly getting dressed up and even touching up her makeup before the contest. It breaks the viewer's heart to see a young woman so trusting walk into something so degrading.
Without spoiling the plot for those who haven't seen the film (you owe it to yourself to do so) it's assumed there is always chance for redemption. River Phoenix, who died tragically just two years after the film's release, is memorable as a soldier who struggles with human contact. And Lili Taylor absolutely shines as the victimized but amazingly forgiving Rose, though it's hard to accept her as "ugly"--I think Lili Taylor is really cute and I'd give anything to go on a date with her.
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