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SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS

 
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At Theaters: 8/14/1998 On Video: 1/19/1999
Rated: R Length: 1 hr. 31 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 089805
Studio: Fox Searchlight
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Storyline Heading

The Abramowitzes of Beverly Hills provide a skewed portrait of family life in America's city of dreams. Challenged by divorce, addiction and dysfunction -- yet still determined to fit in with the "in" crowd -- the Abramowitzes survive at the edge of Beverly Hills with humor and the precarious things that hold loved ones together.

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DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Comedy - Slums of Beverly Hills is a light period comedy that could appeal to adults and young adults interested in the 1970s. The film is inappropriate for children, and older viewers may be put off by some of the risqué material.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Marisa Tomei (Welcome to Sarajevo)
Alan Arkin (Gattaca)
Natasha Lyonne (Krippendorf's Tribe)
David Krumholtz (The Ice Storm)
Kevin Corrigan (Trees Lounge)
Wri/Dir: Tamara Jenkins (Family Remains)
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Production Notes Heading
Introduction
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: Occasional use of strong profanity.
SEX/NUDITY: Bare breasts in non-sexual context; teens have sex; teen girl uses a vibrator.
VIOLENCE: Two men's thighs are stabbed with forks.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Marijuana use; frequent cigarette smoking; alcohol consumption at bars and at home.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: Nearly non-stop comic dialogue and situations.
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading
Above Average
Despite some big-screen-worthy performances by Alan Arkin, Natasha Lyonne, and Marisa Tomei, first-time writer-director Tamara Jenkins's '70s-set comedy is strictly one for the small screen. Although the film's light wit makes for an easy-to-swallow entertainment, there's nothing here anyone hasn't seen on a sitcom--insecure girl, the wisecracking brother, the free-spirited cousin, the well-meaning dad. Slums is a reasonably enjoyable lark; you're guaranteed a laugh here and there, and plenty more smiles. But it's the snack food equivalent of film--it satisfies for a while, but it doesn't fill you up in the long run.

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DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 26 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
8
Fairly High
88%%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
2
About 50/50
50%%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
3
Fairly Low
33%%
30+Adults (M)
7
Low
43%%
30+Adults (F)
6
Low
67%%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE

The year is 1976. It is the era of "Let's Make A Deal," the last hurrah of bell bottoms, big lapels and even bigger cars. It is also the year Vivian Abramowitz (Natasha Lyonne) learns the ABCs of bra sizes. It's a tough time for Vivian, made even tougher by her single, divorced father Murray's (Alan Arkin) constant search for a better lifestyle. Murray's goal is to keep the entire family -- Vivian, wise-mouthed older brother Ben (David Krumholtz) and wide-eyed little brother Rickey -- in the Beverly Hills School District (albeit on the very fringes of the city), because as Murray puts it: "Furniture is temporary, education is forever."

The four Abramowitz's move to a cheap one-bedroom. In these uncomfortably close quarters, Vivian watches in horror as her blossoming sexuality becomes a family spectacle -- not to mention a great curiosity for her strangely compelling, Charles Manson-obsessed neighbor, Eliot (Kevin Corrigan).

Enter Rita (Marisa Tomei), the Abramowitz's wild cousin and potential saving grace. A royal screw-up, just out of drug rehab, Rita is the daughter of Murray's wealthy brother Mickey (Carl Reiner). Though hopelessly confused, Rita becomes the unlikely female role model that the adolescent Vivian urgently needs.

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