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Beverly Hills couple Barbara and Dave Whiteman are very rich but not happy Dave is a hard working business man, his wife is only interested in yoga, aerobics and other meditation classes, and he sleeps with the house maid. Their teenage son is confused about his sexuality and their daughter is suffering from eating disorders. While they are celebrating thanksgiving having plenty of food, street tramp Jerry is hungry, homeless, sleeping rough and has lost his dog. Jerry decides to end his life by drowning himself in their swimming pool. Dave rescues him and invites him to stay for a while. How does this stranger change the life style of this family? Written by
Sami Al-Taher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The credits open on scenes showing sites featured in Beverly Hills The end credits scroll on the alleyway outside the Whiteman's home, during which a bum pushing a trolley walks by, pauses to check on the Whiteman's dumpster, then continues on his way. See more »
Seen today, DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS is hampered by its obvious eighties-ness, which still doesn't detract from its fair quota of charms. When a homeless man, Jerry (played by the ever-reliable Nick Nolte) is saved from drowning in the swimming pool of nice-guy millionaire Dave (Richard Dreyfuss), his subsequent welcome into their family has unpredictable implications for Dave's badly-adjusted lot.
The humour is still by-and-large amusing after all these years (a highlight being when Dreyfuss hangs out on the beach with Nolte's fellow bums), even if the periphery characters are slight and shallow. The appearance of Little Richard early-on signals he's got to find a piano before the film is through. Unfortunately, his character - a black record producer unhappy at the implicit racism of the suburbs - has nothing else to do in the mean time.
While it hasn't stood the test of time, hamstrung by its good intentions and badly compromised ending, DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS is an amusing diversion. The most surprising outcome you draw from watching again a family that does not communicate is just how well the issues were addressed in AMERICAN BEAUTY, an altogether darker comedy, but more funny, sincere and resonant.
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