The New Pantheon Library
Jacob's Ladder meets Sandlot. Birdy is a very touching story of youth, aspiration, and the detritis of the Vietnam era. While superficial in ways, there is a great current of valid truths and difficult realizations about life in North America during the 60's and 70's.
Two urban Philadelphia boys, opposite in almost every way, experience a life-long friendship. Both having turbulent and unsopportive family lives, these two boys, played by Modine and Cage, fight to keep life interesting and easy. Matthew Modine's character is a strangely fascinated youth, constantly tending to his birds, gradually consumed with the actual, not symbolic, escape from existential difficulty via becoming a bird. As this reality takes over his cognizance, he follows after his best friend to the Vietnam war, after a bitter reality. Afterwards their paths meet again and they have to help each other out of the impossible once again.