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|Index||20 reviews in total|
This is without a doubt one of Neil Simon's best plays turned movies. It's full of great characters, and memorable dialog. Johnathan Silverman makes a great screen version of young Eugene(he was played by Matthew Broderick on stage).This is the first of Simon's autobiographical trilogy, its followed by the wonderful "Biloxi Blues", and closes with the TV movie "Broadway Bound". If I had to say the movie has any flaws it would maybe be that characters sometimes usually speak in obvious dialog, but that's alright because it's great dialog. Rent this little gem, you won't be sorry!
The viewer who said he was disappointed seems to be wildly missing the point here. This is a superb movie, excellent and realistic portrayals of a middle class Jewish family in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, of long ago. The nuances are perfect and I felt the casting of everyone was superior. I especially found the acting done by Judith Ivey just perfection---especially the speech she has with her daughter when the daughter comes home late one night. That scene was Oscar worthy. But, really, all the acting was fine. I recommend this movie. It is a fun, family film and delightful to see how a lovely middle class family lived in Brooklyn so long ago. See it and you will be glad you did. Has some very funny lines and the Eugene character is a real comedian--very funny.
One of my top five comedies ever. You'll appreciate it more if your a guy who came of age in the 1930's-60's. I identify so much with this movie, especially the bathroom scene, when Eugene's 15 year old cousin Nora accidentally walks in on him while he's "on the crapper." This actually happened to me when I was 10, and let me tell you there is no worse horror for a boy at that age. Eugene worries that his life was over, as I did. I also remember my first time seeing a picture of a naked woman. A very tame pose by today's standards, but like Eugene, there was a sense of relief that the quest was finally over. No more was it just the occasional breast shot, I too had seen "The Golden Palace of the Himalayas." Jonathan Silverman's running narration is hilarious and really makes the movie for me. Well worth the investment time-wise, IMO.
This movie moves and inspire you, it's like you are one of the family. Just to see and witness life during the depression era, makes you feel humble and grateful. Jonathan Silverman delivered well, so convincing and very witty! A must see for Teens!
Brilliant! Eugene is just like any 15 year old boy. Silverman comes out
some very funny lines with his mother :
'Theres a bone in my throat'
'THERE ARE NO BONES IN LOVER!'
And when they are sat at the table at dinner
Voice over-'The tension was so tense i would of cut my wrists but the liver
had blunted the knifes'
So if you haven't seen this film go and see right now.
Go and search for and see the golden palace in the himalayes!
One of my favorite movies. Great cast, lead by Jonathan Silverman and Blythe
Danner. Serious drama situations with brilliant comedic punches. An exact
mixture of character and story. Real people with real problems, and everyone
has a different relationship with each family member. Sensitively moves from
slightly-sad to hilariously-funny. Read the quotes. This is the best
adaptation of a Neil Simon play.
If you wanna see more of Eugene check Biloxi Blues (starring Matthew Broderick who played in both stage versions) is OK, a bit on a darker side. Get away from the made-for-TV Broadway Bound.
If you want to see an almost perfect demonstration of the proposition
that film is a directors's medium, BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS is the movie
to see. The performances are uniformly dreadful, leading the viewer to
conclude that, without decent direction, actors are largely
incompetent. And, in addition to his overall ineptness, Gene Saks , the
director, has such a tin ear that he allows his actors to speak in
accents incomprehensible as the Yiddish-inflected New Yorkese that
presumably was intended.
Furthermore, the audience is invited to believe that this story is something of a transcription of Neil Simon's boyhood experiences. We therefore are asked to accept that this tale is a reasonable approximation of the attitudes and values of a first-generation working-class Jewish family of the 1930s. Yet one of the key elements of the narrative presents a situation that is virtually unbelievable, which is that the family accepts and even encourages the prospect of a serious relationship between one of its members and an alcoholic Irish Catholic. It's also doubtful that the suitor's mother would have viewed her son's interest in a Jewish widow with the equanimity her character displays, but that just demonstrates Simon's cluelessness about a world beyond his own. But what's his excuse for such egregious ignorance of the one he purports to be representing? Either he doesn't really understand the culture he's writing about, or he's distorting it to advance his plot. Neither works to the story's advantage, and either option undermines the integrity of the narrative .
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS was the first of a trilogy of plays that Neil Simon wrote about his own life, renaming himself Eugene Morris Jerome. This play was a Broadway smash and made a star and Tony Award winner out of Matthew Broderick. When it was time to bring the play to the screen, Broderick was unavailable because he was back on Broadway in the second play of the trilogy, BILOXI BLUES, so Jonathan Silverman was pegged to star in the film version as Eugene, the slightly neurotic teen going through puberty and other realities of being a Jewish teen during WWII with the help of his loving family. Silverman makes a suitable replacement for Broderick and seems quite at ease speaking directly to the camera. I'm one of the few who really liked Blythe Danner as his strong willed mother...maybe the accent was a bit much, but Danner infuses the character with warmth and strength and Bob Dishy has one of his best roles as Eugene's father, a quiet tower of strength whose world weariness never allows him to neglect his family. Judith Ivey plays Danner's sister, a lonely woman whose lack of self-esteem seems to have stemmed from feeling she has lived in her sister's shadow her whole life and Brian Drillinger also scores as Stanley, Eugene's older brother, who loses his paycheck gambling and then loses his job and doesn't know how to tell Mom and Dad. Gene Saks directs with a loving, if loose hand and the film could have been more tightly paced, but the performances of Silverman, Danner, and Dishy made it worth my time.
It's 1937 Brighton Beach Brooklyn. Eugene Morris Jerome (Jonathan
Silverman) is a young Jewish boy who dreams of pitching for the Yankees
but probably will be a writer. His aunt Blanche and her daughters live
with them after her husband's death. The older daughter Nora wants to
be in a Broadway play and the younger Laurie is sickly. His father Jack
works extra hard to feed the extra mouths. His mother Kate is in charge
of everybody. His older brother Stanley is struggling with his job
My main problem with this is that Jonathan Silverman is too old to play this role. He's as tall as Brian Drillinger. I can imagine the lines being much funnier coming from a kid. Coming from a 20 year old, it sounds a bit dumb. Gene Saks's directions are functional. It's the words from Neil Simon that gets a few laughs. It is his play that is touching. The translation to the big screen isn't the best but it still works.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How many of us have read a book or seen a play, and then when the movie version came out we were terribly disappointed? Well, maybe this would be one of those movies for those who saw the play too, but as someone who never had the opportunity to see it on stage, I was extremely entertained by this movie. The characters were funny, the music was great, and the story was interesting and made you feel genuine empathy for the characters, flaws and all. Jonathan Silverman has such good comedic timing, and his lines especially are hilarious. I'm not going to give any spoilers, it's just a nicely done, funny movie showing the inner workings of a middle class family during WWII. So if you never saw the play, and if you have enjoyed other Neil Simon movies, don't be held back by the couple of negative reviews seen here. On its own, Brighton Beach Memoirs is a GREAT movie. I guarantee it (no money back, though).
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