"Lucas" is about Lucas (squirrelly Corey Haim), a precocious 14-year-old who's more interested in insects than in girls. Until he meets Maggie (Kerri Green), that is. She's the new girl in town, and she and Lucas spend the summer together, sneaking into concerts and playing tennis (on his part, not too well).

Then school starts. Cappie (an attractively relaxed Charlie Sheen), captain of the football team, gets a crush on Maggie. Cappie may not be as smart as Lucas, but he's just as sensitive, and he looks swell with his shirt off.

At this point, Sergei Eisenstein probably couldn't make an interesting movie about high school kids (anyway, his agent says he's not interested), but "Lucas" is about as likable as this kind of movie ever gets. At the heart of "Lucas" is an interesting idea -- a Woody Allen movie for kids, with a bespectacled, nerdy hero -- that never gets developed. Still, director David Seltzer has kept it low-key, sweet and personal -- it's like a nice "Afterschool Special."

The movie is stylishly photographed (by Reynaldo Villalobos) -- there's a zippy shot, for example, up and down a line of cheerleaders. On the other hand, "Lucas" could do without Haim -- someone seems to have told him to slack his jaw, for slack it he does. And this, and all other movies, could do without the work of composer Dave Grusin. He doesn't write music. He writes Gruzak.

Lucas, at area theaters, is rated PG-13 and contains some profanity.