This movie left me shaken and choked up! It pays homage to The Best Years of Our Lives and perhaps some other films about vets returning home. But specifically Best Years, I think, with the shot of Ron Kovic after he has become paralyzed and finally returns to his parents’ house staring at his high school wrestling picture in his old room. Harold Russell in Best Years does the exact same thing becoming lost in the old picture from his high school athletics career when he felt he was a whole person. Both of these movies deal with men who have lost some part of themselves and have to discover how to gain strength and courage and acceptance to be a whole man again. By exploring Ron’s youth, Born on the Fourth of July shows that the story is really about pressure and failure and confusion and how we deal with those things. This is an epic story with a tremendous supporting cast. It’s about a boy who becomes a soldier, a soldier who becomes paralyzed, a paraplegic who becomes an outcast all the while searching for his humanity!! Sometimes it takes an outcast to speak the truth, someone who has been paralyzed to really stand for something, a soldier to fight for life, and of course it’s the natural progression of things for a boy to triumphantly become a man!