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Review: 'Love and Honor' is a topical romance in summer of 1969

A U.S. military man (Austin Stowell) leaves the fighting in Vietnam to win back his girl (Aimee Teegarden) in Michigan.

March 21, 2013|By Gary Goldstein
(IFC Films )

An attractive, appealing cast, headed by two immensely likable male leads, propels director Danny Mooney's "Love and Honor," a romantic drama set during the heady summer of 1969.

The warm if soapy script by Jim Burnstein and Garrett K. Schiff concerns Dalton (Austin Stowell), an upright Vietnam War soldier who, after landing in Hong Kong for a week of R&R, impulsively grabs a flight to Michigan to reconnect with Jane (Aimee Teegarden), the hometown girlfriend who recently dumped him by mail.

Never one to miss an adventure, Mickey (Liam Hemsworth), Dalton's hunky, smooth-talking buddy and unit-mate, tags along (grunts fly free!).

Upon arrival in Ann Arbor, though, Dalton finds Jane has become the hippified "Juniper," and is enjoying free-spirited communal living with a group of college-age activists, which include aspiring journalists Candace (Teresa Palmer) and Pete (Chris Lowell).

The AWOLers attempt to counter the group's antiwar bias via a hasty ruse hatched by Mickey, paving the way for Dalton to woo Jane and lady-killer Mickey to impress the beautiful Candace.

Love blooms, protests erupt and long-held ideals are tested, all as man's first moonwalk inevitably unfolds.

Save a weak police pursuit, events are earnestly depicted and involvingly played, even if the period re-creation at times feels overly burnished. Still, "Love and Honor" suffices as old-fashioned, pie-in-the-sky entertainment.

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"Love and Honor."

MPAA rating: PG-13 for drug content, sexuality, language and brief violence.

Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes.

At Laemmle's Noho 7, North Hollywood.

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