22-year-old aspiring actor Larry Lipinski (Lenny Baker – The Paper Chase) is moving out of his parents' apartment in Brooklyn to a place of his own in Greenwich Village in 1953. This move drives his always verging on hysterics mother Fay (Shelley Winters – The Poseidon Adventure, The Portrait of a Lady) to a near breakdown. Larry has a very interesting circle of bohemian friends including the suicidal Anita (Lois Smith – Twister, Dead Man Walking), the gay Bernstein (Antonio Fargas – Huggy Bear from television's 'Starsky and Hutch'), the ladies' man Robert (Christopher Walken – Domino, Wedding Crashers), the writer Connie (Dori Brenner – For The Boys, Baby Boom), the actor Barney (John Ford Noonan – Flirting With Disaster, Adventures in Babysitting) and his girlfriend, Sarah (Ellen Greene – The Cooler, One Fine Day). The film follows Larry in his attempts to have sex with his girlfriend, deal with his mother and try to get acting jobs.
This is an interesting look back at a much more innocent time where sex was still considered risqué. In what is said to be an autobiography, director Paul Mazursky (Moscow on the Hudson, Faithful) has included all the emotions of youth in the film, including hope, betrayal, love, friendship, dreams, and heartbreak. It really is an examination of young people in their twenties in the 1950s and the film stays focused on the characters and their reactions rather than the plot. We really get the feeling of this time of the beginning of sexual freedom, rent parties and coffee houses. He has definitely put his finger on a time and a place. There is also a nice mix of comedy and sadness in the film. Shelley Winters steals or at least makes you sit up and notice her in every scene she is in. Her portrayal of the stereotypical overbearing Jewish mother is a classic. Look out for cameo appearances by very young Jeff Goldblum and Bill Murray.
-Fox flix: trailers for The Paper Chase, The Poseidon Adventure, and An Unmarried Woman