Slums of Beverly Hills Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 14, 2008
All time favourite. Love this movie, so many funny scenes in it. Natasha Lyonne is just perfect for this role.
Sweet comedy about growing up in the 70's with a bit of bite to it.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2013
Natasha Lyonne has had many indie roles in television and film that are quite interesting, and this has to be one of her most enduring ones to date. This is Lyonne's largest leading role; before she made it into the "American Pie" franchise. This coming of age tale is really quite interesting, not just because of its setting being in the seventies, but because the family featured are great examples of how nuclear families were all but decimated by that time. Their dispassionate feelings towards one another, and their pure dysfunction, are what holds the film together and what yields the more poignant and tender moments onscreen. Alan Arkin, as the philandering father to an apartment full of rowdy kids, is always inhospitable and yet gives a monumental performance. Arkin cements himself, in my eyes, as one of the most underrated and yet talented actors of his time because the role of Murray is so perfect for him. As he shifts between filthy apartments, shuffling his kids around and yet telling them they deserve the finer things in life, we see a man that has all but given up and yet trudges on. Lyonne is also powerfully adept in her role, as she navigates the problems of young adulthood. Though she remains the main fixture of the film, and gives a knockout performance as Vivian, she doesn't overcrowd the film, which also contains many great supporting performances. Marisa Tomei is especially notable as the disillusioned Rita, fresh from rehab and starting her life in Beverly Hills, trying to find the man she left behind. Really the film remains very unsettling throughout, because it shows what it truly means to be poor when everyone around you is perfect. More than that it's what happens when you're not living the life that's always been promised. The complexities of this family are very real and solemn throughout the film, while also being funny at times. This has got to be the best unknown indie film of the nineties, because it seemingly hits every perfect note and yet doesn't even try.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2008
A great piece of work. One of the most underrated independant films of the 90's.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2006
Reasonably funny.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2006
A great study of and living definiton of the dysfunctional family. Arkin is great, and Lyonne was getting strong. What's happened to her?
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2009
Excellent little coming-of-age family drama that (thankfully) avoids high-school and focusses on the characters as we see the "other" side of 90210.
Arkin has made a career of playing father figures and excels yet again and Tomei shows that there's much more to her than a pretty face. But it's Lyonne who shows bags of talent as the awkward teen learning that the grass isn't greener on the other side. Definitely worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2007
December 21, 2013
Wanted to catch up on a past performance from Marisa Tomei as the family cousin, but it's Natasha Lyonne's role as Vivian that shines through this movie. Alan Arkin heads this cast as father struggling to make it in the glamour of Beverly Hills. Entertaining supporting cast from Jessica Walter, Mena Suvari, Carl Reiner and Rita Moreno. Typical R rating from the 90's but enjoyable popcorn movie!
March 30, 2010
Very funny movie and also sad at times There are many memorable laugh out loud moments that we have been quoting for years in our house. Totally enjoyable. The entire cast is won't forget these performances.
June 21, 2009
Slice of life story follows a teenage girls exploring her sexual maturity and finding herself as her nomadic, disfunctional family struggles to find a home. Terrific cast members deliver sympathetic, quirky performances.
April 27, 2009
I find Slums Of Beverly Hills neither comedic nor compassionate, and yes, I disliked every minute of it. Don't even ask me about Vivian's breasts.
½ March 28, 2009
A dark dramedy with a twist of pop. this film makes a statement on the period's youth while being sardonic and a little bit wierd.
April 7, 2008
The story of Vivian (Natasha Lyonne), a 14-year-old girl with an ever expanding bustline and Viv's father Murray (Alan Arkin) who moves his family (including Viv and her two brothers) every few weeks, jumping rent but staying in Beverly Hills because it's got "good schools." Lyonne is exceptional as Viv. She's sweet and sometimes endearing. She's the movie's lynchpin, and she's up to the task. The characters of Slums may seem overly quirky. No one in the film is normal. But therein lies the value of family. No matter how crazy you get, how far your luck has fallen, family is the home that is always there. That is the reward for the challenge of it all. So we fight, and we yell, and we do it because we have something invested in our families, ourselves.

Murray Samuel Abromowitz: "Who the hell is that on your shirt?
Eliot: Charles Manson, sir.
Murray Samuel Abromowitz: Okay...
[to family]
Murray Samuel Abromowitz: Your sister gets the bedroom."

What Slums of Beverly Hills lacks in cohesiveness, it makes up for in schmaltz and spirit. Hence, its more sentient moments are rarely obscured. This despite a gaggle of offbeat characters, an unusual brand of sexual frankness that flirts on the fringes of titillation, and a circus-like style of plot exposition. Many times, films that combine comedy and drama do so in an uncomfortable and unwieldy manner. In Slums of Beverly Hills, the approach is natural and satisfying.
October 12, 2007
Instant classic. Everyone can releate to this wack job family and then some. Growing up is always akward no matter where you live.
September 26, 2007
you may not pick your family but you do ultimately love them. perhaps if my cousin was marissa tomei i'd enjoy seeing her big tits and playing with her vibrator too lol
½ May 23, 2007
I liked it. A crisp and original story idea. Why Natasha Lyonne didn't become a bigger star is beyond me.
½ November 29, 2006
I don't exactly agree with this girl's reasoning, but this flim as it's own charm of reality tempered by a resilient young girl.
September 26, 2006
This movie was funny. It was funny how the girls dad made her put a bra on when she wore a halter top. Total redneck family.
August 10, 2006
yeah it's kind of a cult classic but it's really not that great... i didn't find it funny... and Natasha Lyonne bugs me most of the time with her lack luster performances
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