The underrated and neglected Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird, Inside Daisy Clover, Summer of ’42, Clara’s Heart) may be one of the only American directors left with a fully achieved style that is commonly (if misleadingly) termed “classical.” Indeed, he is a master of carving out dramatic space with liquid camera movements and precise angles, a mastery that’s matched by a special sensitivity in handling adolescents. These qualities are fully apparent in this tender treatment of the romantic heartbreak experienced by a 14-year-old girl (Reese Witherspoon) in rural Louisiana during the 50s, although Mulligan is less than ideally served by a script (by Jenny Wingfield) that at times borders on the obvious and simplistic. The heroine is infatuated with the 17-year-old boy (Jason London) who runs a neighboring farm, but he’s more interested in her older sister (Emily Warfield). Mulligan does a fine job both with the nonprofessionals playing the kids and with Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, and Gail Strickland as their parents (1991).