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|Index||46 reviews in total|
This flick is just what you can expect for a movie like this. With plenty of funny and bizarre situations, it gives you a pleasant and entertaining break. All three leading actors perform great, especially Richard Dreyfuss who was perfectly casted as the rich guy with the nice heart. Bette Midler is accustomed to middle aged neurotic wife roles and Nick Nolte plays a more macho-like role. I liked the joke at the restaurant about Nicaragua (see Under Fire).
This movie had an overall aura of craziness, which of course Ms. Midler and Misters Nolte and Dreyfuss played to the max. I was particularly touched by Nick Nolte's recitation from Hamlet on the beach with Richard Dreyfuss... Nice Flick!
Hollywood borrowed the underlying premise from an old, old film called
"Boudu Saved From Drowning". Writers dressed up the story to fit a 1986
audience. The rich Whiteman family lives in luxury in Beverly Hills.
One day, in walks a tramp named Jerry Baskin (Nick Nolte). The plot
then plays out as "comedy" and satire, as these two social class
The script's plot points are in-your-face obvious; there's nothing at all subtle here. Scriptwriters try too hard to make these plot elements funny, and the result is that, except for the amusing expressions of the little dog, Matisse, there's very little that is actually funny. Characters, and the actors that play these roles, are mostly just grating.
The best performance goes to Bette Midler, whose character Barbara is an emotionally frustrated rich woman, who employs a yogi to help her overcome the trials and tribulations of being wealthy.
The rest of the cast is not so hot. Nick Nolte, as the bum, mostly just plays himself; neither Nolte nor his character persuades us they have ever had a hard day in their lives. Tracy Nelson comes across as an entitled Hollywood insider who got the role of Jenny, a spoiled 1980s prima donna.
But the award for worst performance goes to the annoyingly overeager Richard Dreyfuss, another insider, who shouts and overacts his way through the entire film. Indeed, this film has a serious problem with overacting. I guess it's a way to try to compensate for the lack of humor in this so-called comedy.
Cinematography and production values are fine. And I liked those interior scenes wherein Bette Midler walks out of her plush bathroom through a cascade of mirrors; that's nicely done. The film's score is not the least bit inspired. And the final fifteen-minute segment collapses into silly chaos, with an ending that is not remotely credible.
Time-bound to the 1980s, "Down And Out In Beverly Hills" looks and feels dated. It strikes me as a film produced, written, directed, and acted by an ensemble of Hollywood insiders, none of whom have any idea of what it's like to be homeless, and couldn't care less. Homelessness is just another impersonal topic about which Hollywood can make a bundle of cash. Poor Mike, the dog that played Matisse; that dog needs to find an agent that can get him into better films.
I haven't watched this since the late 80's and just watched it again. It's really a masterpiece. It's a psychological/sociological/historical expose about the California life before the crash. It's also very prophetic in many ways; Such as Dreyfuss' character, Arnold was humping his help, all the hanger makers are in China now, and alternative medicine/practices are endemic outside of California now... :-)Prophetically also was Nolte's pre-incarnation as the "Dude" Labowski played by Jeff Bridges two decades later... I have a family member that became a millionaire from property value growth, growing a business, and then selling it all before the crash. Dreyfuss, Midler, and Nolte have proved to be three of the best performers of our lifetimes. Anyway, try it. You'll like. I'd love to see the Cohen brothers make a sequel or remake... :-)
Disparity between the rich and poor has been around forever. These days
it seems to be growing each day. Ideally we should all be able to
peacefully coexist, but we don't live in that world right now. There
have been a number of books and films made on the subject. Some treat
the issue very seriously, others satirically. Take this film, based on
the French play 'Boudu sauvé des eaux' and film of the same name. It
involves a wealthy Beverly Hills family taking in a homeless man. The
result is a smart, often funny satire.
Pros: Great work by the cast. Intelligent script. Steady direction. Good score and soundtrack. Some good satire. Some particularly memorable moments, like the massage scene. Well paced.
Cons: Dated in some aspects. Contrived ending.
Final thoughts: With a cast like this one, how could they miss? Fortunately, they didn't by a longshot. Really great satire isn't easy to come by. This is an example of one that soars more than flops. The hair and decor date it some, but it holds up well otherwise.
My rating: 4/5
A modern look at the Dinner at 8 comedies of poking fun at the class system. An inside comical look at the filthy rich and the filthy poor. The overall moral of the film is that there is no difference between the classes when both worlds are living a lie. Trying to be something you're not and the struggle for class identity is the moral. All the characters, rich and poor are searching for that throughout the film.
To this is one of the great movies(another example would be "Ferris Buellers Day Off"), that manages to be purely entertaining from beginning to end. Not really loaded with laugh out loud gags or thought provoking drama, its just plain fun all the way through.
This movie is hilarious! Richard Dreyfuss is wonderful as the neurotic husband who brings Nolte home to live with them. The funniest line: "Call 911!!". Midler also entertains as the bored wife who falls for Nolte. Some of the funniest parts come from Matisse, their dog. If your looking for a light , amusing comedy, this entertains.
Fun satire from director Mazursky with all three stars giving their best, especially Dreyfuss, who made a true comeback with this as a ritzy neurotic who saves bum Nolte's life, then watches as his life and world are turned upside down. Good clean fun!
Hardly one of Nick Nolte's proudest moments. Nor any of the other stars, as a matter of fact. It's not their fault; they're all hampered by a rotten script. The movie isn't funny enough to be a comedy, but there really isn't enough of a plot as such to carry it as a drama. Events in this movie just sort of happen with little lead-in or follow-up, and it fails to even wrap up satisfactorily. Absolutely not worth sitting through the highly irritating opening theme music. ...Still, the dog really is cute.
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