The Top 100 Inspirational Movies: 80 - 61
77 - Breaking Away
Lifelong buddies Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher have no idea what they will do now that they’ve graduated from high school. Growing up in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, they don’t fit in at Indiana University – where locals are derisively called "cutters” from the years that a limestone quarry was the town’s largest employer.
But things have changed. The quarry is now a swimming hole. And Dave yearns for more. Although he has no job and doesn't know what to do with his life, he is a champion bicycle racer – at least in his own mind.
Astride his bike, singing classical Rossini with a convincing Italian accent, he pretends to be a foreign exchange student and dates a pretty sorority girl. You’ll chuckle as his ever-supportive buddies – a very young Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and the ever-pimpled Jackie Earle Haley – with Dave, played by Dennis Christopher, enter the university’s annual bicycle relay race, the Little Indy 500.
“Breaking away” describes the often-desperate solo move a bike racer makes at the last moment to win. For most of any race, riders bunch together to minimize wind resistance. But to win, a rider must just get a jump on the group at just the right moment and, with superhuman effort, beat the odds by going it alone.
This film does just that – and will inspire you to dare to break away, too.
~ Rob Kerby