See the reviews on Amazon's U.S. WWW site for the details of plot and suchlike matters. I like this film for a lot of personal reasons, among other ones. I was the age of the Hungarian immigrant teen, Karchy, in the year of the film's setting at the onset of the 1960s. I recall "Cleavageland" (affectionately erotic name for Cleveland, the supposedly unsexy city of northern Ohio!) itself admittedly from a bit later, when I did my graduate studies at the beginning of the following decade (1970s) in Ohio, in Kent, not far away from Cleveland (though closer to Akron) where campus life at Kent State University certainly included a lot more sex (and pop music) than in ever-so-swinging California and Massachusetts, where I had done my undergraduate studies! Ohioans, however incongruous it may seem to some, always have been hardy and randy folk, as well as practical and pious.
I remember the music really, really well and even performed r&b and "soul" music (as double bassist) during the first half of the 1960s in a mixed black and white group, sang and played gospel music, and did more along such lines. I remember, too, the "Payola" scandals that rocked (forgive the pun!) North American news-reporting during the 1950s and 1960s. I remember Church life, too, in those last years just prior to the Second Vatican Council. It's all here in "Telling Lies in America", as I still recall vividly the "look" and "feel" of the time, the furniture, urban architecture and decoration, fads, male and female hair styles, clothing, etc. of 1950s and early 1960s working class America, to which this film is visually faithful to a remarkable extent. Also, of course, I remember the awkwardness of youth that Karchy is living through in the film.
This is a fine movie. Kevin Bacon is terrific as the sleazy disc-jockey "Billy Magic", who takes Karchy under his wing and makes him feel important as his assistant, introduces him to some gratifying as well as degrading things in life, only to betray his boyish trust. However, Billy does right by Karchy and his black singer friend, due to some angry (and potentially career-killing) pressure from the kid, so Karchy, surprisingly, comes through with the legal break (in his payola case testimony) that gets Billy Magic out of trouble, despite potential harm to Karchy himself. In the face of some worrisome pressure on Karchy and his aging father, both gain their U.S. citizenship, a kindly judge realising the human decency of the father and son, so the film ends upbeat. For music, drama, good acting, and more, this film is a winner!