Slums of Beverly Hills
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Tamara Jenkins wrote and directed this comedy-drama depicting the experience of growing up poor in the 90210 zip code, told from the point of view of Vivian Abramowitz (Natasha Lyonne), a teen who lives a nomadic existence in the outskirts of Beverly Hills with her single, divorced father, Murray (Alan Arkin) and her two young brothers (David Krumholtz, Eli Marienthal). As Murray tries to keep the family in the Beverly Hills school district, the family moves into a one-bedroom apartment in a shabby complex. When sexually liberated Rita (Marisa Tomei), daughter of Murray's brother Mickey… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Funny, well acted comedy from a new director whose career shuld be watched"
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"There's an alchemy that can transform personal experience into a great film, but it was nowhere nearby when Tamara Jenkins wrote and directed this lacklustre first feature."
‑ Ray Conlogue, Globe and Mail
"...a slight movie but a brave one"
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"not as bad as the title makes it sound"
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"Intelligent, humorous and thoroughly poignant, this can easily hold its own with the best comedies of the year."
‑ Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly
"Though hypocritical in the way it sensationalizes sexuality, this serious and funny 1998 movie about a 15-year-old coming to terms with her body and her family in 1976 is, refreshingly, never coy or ironic."
‑ Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader
"What lifts this brash comedy above the vulgar herd is Tamara Jenkins in a heartfelt feature debut as writer and director."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Uneven but filled with flashes of painful insight into the pitfalls awaiting adolescent girls."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Not much humor here. The statement about white trash is lost in an incest subplot. Just a mess."
‑ Fred Topel,
"Terrific performances from Alan Arkin and Natasha Lyonne dominate this engrossing look at a financially strapped Jewish family trying to survive despite their penury."
‑ Dan Lybarger, Nitrate Online
"A small film with plenty of incidental pleasures, writer/director Jenkins' debut feature puts a winning new spin on the adolescent comedy-drama."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"Generally Jenkins shows few rookie jitters, and she got excellent performances from the rest of her cast."
‑ Jack Mathews, Los Angeles Times
"Aside from Corrigan, there is nothing that I can recommend about it."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"A marvelous, fresh new coming-of-age comedy-drama, one that breathes fresh new life into the genre."
‑ Eugene Novikov, Film Blather
"Lyonne is a natural, and clearly a young actress to watch."
‑ James Rocchi, Netflix
More reviews for Slums of Beverly Hills on Rotten Tomatoes

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