If you're a fan of Neil Simon's then "Brighton Beach Memoirs"(1986) is a must-see. This is a well-made movie with an amazing ensemble cast and witty dialogue that had me laughing out loud. Eugene (Jonathan Silverman), a Jewish teenager, narrates the story of his time as an adolescent, growing up amidst a close-knit Jewish family in 1930s Brooklyn, comprising dad, Jack (Bob Dishy), mom Kate (Blythe Danner), brother Stanley (Brian Dillinger), widowed aunt Blanche (Judith Ivey), and cousins Nora (Lisa Waltz) and Laurie (Stacey Glick). Eugene's dad is a hardworking man who tries to manage the family on his meager income, supplemented by the wages of his older son Stanley who works for a haberdasher/slave driver Mr. Stroheim (Steven Hill). The performances of the ensemble cast, especially the comical antics of the lead performer (Silverman) coupled with the creative dialogue make this an immensely entertaining watch. I loved the way family dynamics were explored in this movie - how Eugene feels like he is being victimized and bullied (being constantly sent to the store by his mother complaining,"I'm always going to the store. When I grow up, that's all I'll be trained to do, go to the store"), how the role of males and females were still very traditional (the women stayed home, whilst the men went out to work), and the close bond between members of this family (Eugene's mom takes in her widowed sister and two daughters even though Jack is a low wage-earner).
The most comical aspects are scenes where the adolescent with raging hormones, as portrayed by Eugene, fantasizes about girls and sex. Upon glimpsing his first picture of a naked woman (a French woman at that), Eugene exults: "I have seen the Golden Palace Of The Himalayas. Puberty is OVER! Onward and upward!" Balanced against these comic moments are more somber ones such as when Eugene's 16-year-old cousin Nora decides to forge her own path in life or when Eugene's older brother Stanley has to deal with the repercussions of wrong choices. With its cast of eccentric characters, the irreverent writing and amazing acting, this is a heartwarming, funny and poignant movie. A must-watch!