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Newly wealthy Dave Whitman, a working class type, moves into Beverly Hills. Wife Barbara and daughter Jenny become social climbers, son Max less adaptable. They take in and receive advice from homeless philosopher Jerry.
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>
Nick Nolte's character remarks that he became a bum in part because he was "pretty active politically in the '60s. Sold some draft cards." In real life, Nolte received five years' probation for selling fake draft cards in the 1960s. See more »
Near the end of the film during the pool scene when they've all jumped in, if you look closely you will see Max Whiteman in the pool. But just a a couple of minutes later, he appears on screen with his friends and then jumps into the pool with them. See more »
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 »
Nick Nolte is "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," a 1986 film directed and co-written by Paul Mazursky and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Pena, Little Richard, and Tracy Nelson. Nolte is Jerry, a street person so low even his dog leaves him for a kind jogger. While searching for his dog, he stumbles onto the property of Dave and Barbara Whiteman - Whiteman is a clothes hanger king living the good life in Beverly Hills. Filling his pockets with rocks, Jerry attempts suicide by diving into the Whiteman pool, but is saved and ultimately taken in by Dave. Jerry isn't particularly grateful - he wants Courvoisier instead of the alcohol offered him, and, given dinner, questions the meat on the turkey. Dave, guilty about his wealth, bored with his life, and wanting to do some good, buys Jerry clothes and lets him live at the mansion. He even offers Jerry jobs, which Jerry doesn't accept. Jerry's history is on the vague side - he speaks of doing the concert piano circuit, he is recognized in a restaurant by as a writer, maybe he did some acting...hard to know. Before long, he's taken over the entire household, becoming the only one in the house that the Whiteman's psychologically disturbed dog, Matisse, can tolerate, Barbara Whiteman's masseuse and the man who finds her G-spot, the lover of housekeeper Carmen (Pena) after Dave goes back to sleeping with Barbara, the man who gets the Whiteman's anorexic daughter (Nelson) to fall in love with him and start eating; and the man who convinces the androgynous Whiteman son to come out to his parents. Too late, Dave realizes he's Dr. Frankenstein, and Jerry is the monster.
This is an entertaining film with dark undertones and good performances, particularly from Nolte, Dreyfuss, Midler, Pena and Mike (Matisse the dog). Little Richard is a riot as a neighbor. Nolte is in great shape here, as is Midler, who looks fantastic. The party scene toward the end of the film where Dreyfuss chases Nolte throughout the house and grounds is quite funny. The ending isn't the best, but it's a fun watch anyway.
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