THE STORY: Mikey, about to head “over there” to fight in WWII, can’t win on the home front. Mom manipulates her son with baby-talk, pouting, and flirting. Pop demeans the young man with his cynical worldliness. The family dynamics play out with humor and pathos; Mikey yearns for warmth and intimacy, but his folks can’t give it. Every grunt or glance is a power-play. Mikey’s war experiences accentuate his dilemma between needing real connection and sinking into boorishness. Back home, shamed by his powerlessness, Mikey becomes all that he hates in his parents. The dysfunction of family is passed down, and the dominoes of one generation topple the next.