In 1976, a lower-middle-class teenager struggles to cope living with her neurotic family of nomads on the outskirts of Beverly Hills.


Tamara Jenkins


Tamara Jenkins
9 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Lyonne ... Vivian
Alan Arkin ... Murray
Bryna Weiss ... Saleslady
Marisa Tomei ... Rita
Charlotte Stewart ... Landlady
Eli Marienthal ... Rickey
David Krumholtz ... Ben
Kevin Corrigan ... Eliot
Brendan Burns Brendan Burns ... Cop in Station
Harris Laskawy Harris Laskawy ... Charlie the Cook
Jessica Walter ... Doris
Mena Suvari ... Rachel (as Mëna Süväri)
Marley McClean ... Brooke
Mary Portser ... Mrs. Hoffman
Jock MacDonald ... Man at Brymans


Vivian's family are penniless nomads, moving from one cheap flat to another in Beverly Hills so she and her brothers can attend the city's schools. Uncle Mickey sends them money to survive. When Mickey's daughter Rita runs away from an asylum, Vivian's dad offers shelter to her if Mickey will pay for a plush flat. Vivian must babysit her adult cousin, making sure she gets to nursing school and avoids pills and booze. But Vivian has her own problems: she's curious about sex, likes an older neighbor kid, has inherited her mother's ample breasts, and wants a family that doesn't embarrass her. Can she help Rita, keep Uncle Mickey happy, and feel OK about her body and her family? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's 1976. Meet Vivian. A symbol of her time- not her place. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual situations, nudity, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The nursing school exterior is actually the Montebello Library. See more »


In Vivian's two nude scenes, her breasts are obviously (different) body doubles. The breasts of the doubles differ greatly from each other, in terms of size and shape. Also, her face is never shown during these scenes. See more »


Vivian: [narrating] I used to think the good life was somewhere just outside the window of my father's car. But now I see it's on the inside.
See more »


References Green Acres (1965) See more »


Let Your Love Flow
Performed by Bellamy Brothers
Courtesy of Curb Music Company
Written by Larry E Wiliams (as Larry E. Williams)
Published by Figs. D Music, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

User Reviews

kind of like it
13 November 2005 | by PIST-OFFSee all my reviews

i'm not quite sure exactly why i like this film but as the credits rolled i was smiling nonetheless. the orange/brown/pea-soup green 70's setting of it was one of the things i found authentic and quirky about it. the whole texture of the movies seems saturated by that awful color scheme, as though the whole world is being invaded and lorded over by kitsch. another more base reason is the infinitely watchable natasha lyonne as the blossomed teenager coping with an increasingly unstable world. first her family life and now even her body seem to follow wild and unpredictable spurts. she is obviously quite attractive and i would say the best actor/actress to come out of the American pie bunch and thus not surprisingly the most overlooked. the characters all seem believable to the point that one has to understand that some biographical elements are playing heavily into the story. that said brings to mind the old adage that truth is often stranger than fiction, and in this case it also is more entertaining.

7 out of 10

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

11 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slums of Beverly Hills See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$125,561, 16 August 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed