Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)
An aspiring actor leaves his home in Brooklyn for adulthood in Manhattan in Paul Mazursky's loosely autobiographical comedy-drama. In 1953, would-be thesp Larry Lapinsky (Lenny Baker) flees his hysterically clinging mother (Shelley Winters) for a $25-a-month (!!) apartment in bohemian Greenwich Village. Between Method-like acting classes, a movie audition (where he meets a posturing actor played by Jeff Goldblum), and work at a juice bar, Larry hangs out with a circle of archetypal Village eccentrics, including suicidal Anita (Lois Smith), womanizing poet Robert (Christopher Walken), and flamboyantly un-closeted homosexual Bernstein (Antonio Fargas), as he negotiates the pitfalls of love and sex with liberated girlfriend Sarah (Ellen Greene). The fallout over the group's ill-fated love affairs, and the Lapinskys' inopportune surprise visits, finally lead Larry to make peace with his past as he contemplates his future in Hollywood. Mazursky looks back to the 1950s as in such other 1970s films as American Graffiti, Grease, and TV's Happy Days, but his Greenwich Village life is less a time of lost pre-'60s innocence than a precursor of things to come. Sex, Larry jokes, may be serious, but it is also an omnipresent fact of life rather than something to be feared or repressed; love is the real problem. Even as Larry's friends strike various poses, they are all out to do their own thing as best they can. Critical response to Mazursky's nostalgia trip was mixed when the film was released, but the performances, particularly Winters, were admired. … More
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Critic Reviews for Next Stop, Greenwich Village
A middlebrow American Graffiti, minus the music and set in Greenwich Village, 1953.
"Next Stop, Greenwich Village" isn't aggressively awful. It is inept but mostly it's just commonplace.
The movie's part autobiography and part fiction, but it's all of a piece because Mazursky captures the tone of the 1950s.
Seems more like a slavish hommage to Federico Fellini than a genuine reminiscence.
Charming, bittersweet coming-of-age nostalgia
An ingratiating puppy dog of a film by Paul Mazursky about a young man seeking independence in a place synonymous with freedom
So quotable about thumbs, way back in 1976.
Audience Reviews for Next Stop, Greenwich Village
A semi-autobiographical account of a period in director Paul Mazursky's life. A funny and at times quite poignant telling of Mazursky's choice to leave Brooklyn for what he sees as the glamorous world of Greenwhich Village in 1953.
He is pursuing an acting career and becomes part of a vibrant circle of friends, a very eclectic group; a blunt but kindhearted woman, a playboy (Christopher Walken,) an over-the-top funny black gay man (whose buoyant exterior hides a lot of pain,) a suicidal older actress, and the protagonist's girlfriend, who seems ever-indifferent to her lover.
His parents provide much comedy, especially his overbearing mother, brilliantly played by Shelley Winters.
It is obvious that Paul Mazursky has quite a love for these people as his story moves away from himself and focuses on these loveable, fascinating characters.
Lenny Baker, who plays the lead, is very well-suited for the role.
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