Brighton Beach Memoirs (film)
|Brighton Beach Memoirs|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gene Saks|
|Produced by||Ray Stark|
|Written by||Neil Simon|
|Music by||Michael Small|
|Edited by||Carol Littleton|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Brighton Beach Memoirs is a 1986 American comedy film directed by Gene Saks, written by Neil Simon, and starring Jonathan Silverman and Blythe Danner. Simon adapted his semi-autobiographical 1983 play of the same title, the first chapter of what is known as the Eugene trilogy, followed by Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound. The film frequently breaks the fourth wall by having Eugene speak directly to the camera.
Set in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York in September 1937 during The Great Depression, this coming-of-age comedy focuses on Eugene Morris Jerome, a Polish-Jewish American teenager who experiences puberty, sexual awakening, and a search for identity as he tries to deal with his family, including his older brother Stanley, his parents Kate and Jack, Kate's sister Blanche, and her two daughters, Nora and Laurie, who come to live there after their father's death.
- Jonathan Silverman - Eugene Morris Jerome, almost 15
- Blythe Danner - Kate Jerome, about 40: Eugene's mother, a strong Jewish matriarch
- Bob Dishy - Jacob "Jack" Jerome, about 40: Eugene's father
- Judith Ivey - Blanche Morton, 38: Eugene's widowed aunt
- Brian Drillinger - Stanley Jerome, 18½: Eugene's older brother
- Stacey Glick - Laurie Morton, 13: Eugene's younger cousin
- Lisa Waltz - Nora Morton, 16½: Eugene's beautiful older cousin
Roger Ebert, in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote: "The movie feels so plotted, so constructed, so written, that I found myself thinking maybe they shouldn't have filmed the final draft of the screenplay. Maybe there was an earlier draft that was a little disorganized and unpolished, but still had the jumble of life in it.... The movie was directed by Gene Saks, who directs many of Simon's plays on both the stage and the screen, and whose gift is for the theater. His plays have the breath of life; his movies feel like the official authorized version. Everything is by the numbers."