Falling in love with the rich but misguided Nicole, was not part of Carlos\'s plan to achieve entry to flight school. Nor does her self-absorbed father see Carlos as the ideal match for his daughter. As the couple become closer, Calos puts his future on the line to help Nicole face her demons.

3.5
It does tend to follow a familiar path but it has enough substance to lift it out of a cliched mould.

Nicole, Kirsten Dunst, meets Carlos, Jay Hernandez, on the beach in California while she`s doing community service after a drink driving conviction and he`s with his Mexican mates ogling women. They both attend the same high school on the Pacific Palisades - he travels two hours by bus to get there, she lives in Malibu, the daughter of a Congressman Tom Oakley, Bruce Davison. But she`s a troubled daughter, her mother`s absent and she`s alienated herself from her father and stepmother and their new baby. She`s drinking too much, partying too much with her friend Maddy, Teryn Manning. But her flirtation with the more grounded and motivated Carlos changes things - he knows this school is his chance to get out of the barrio, he wants to get into Annapolis and become a navy pilot.....This is not a stupid teen movie, partly because the screenplay seems based on a recognisable reality and very much because of the performances of both Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez. It does tend to follow a familiar path but it has enough substance to lift it out of a cliched mould. There`s an honesty of emotion here. I like the way director John Stockwell doesn`t subtitle Carlos` mother played by Soledad St Hilaire. It`s obvious what she`s saying: `stop seeing that rich white girl!`. Stockwell was the writer of Rock Star and this is his second gig as director - the other one was way back in the late eighties, he`s been an actor and writer in the meantime.