Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)
Front Cover Actor
Natasha Lyonne Vivian Abromowitz
Alan Arkin Murray Abromowitz
Bryna Weiss Saleslady
Marisa Tomei Rita Abromowitz
Charlotte Stewart Landlady
Eli Marienthal Rickey Abromowitz
David Krumholtz Ben Abromowitz
Kevin Corrigan Eliot Arenson
Brendan Burns Cop in Station
Harris Laskaway Charlie the Cook
Jessica Walter Doris
Carl Reiner Mickey
Rita Moreno Belle
Movie Details
Genre Comedy; Drama
Director Tamara Jenkins
Producer Michael Nozik; Stan Wlodkowski; Robert Redford
Writer Tamara Jenkins
Studio Fox Searchlight; 20th Century Fox
Language English
Audience Rating R
Running Time 1 hr 31 mins
Country USA
Color Color
One of the freshest, most enjoyable independent films of 1998, Slums of Beverly Hills finds both comedy and compassion in the post-puberty woes of a soon-to-be high school freshman named Vivian Abramowitz (Natasha Lyonne), who has been either blessed or cursed (depending on who you ask) by breasts that have generously blossomed along with her sexual curiosity. It's not an easy time, especially since Vivian and her two brothers live a nomadic, close-knit existence with their unemployed father (Alan Arkin), who keeps moving them from one ratty apartment to another on the fringes of Beverly Hills. Joining them in their latest one-bedroom home is their flaky cousin Rita (Marisa Tomei), whose latest stint in rehab has been replaced by the half-baked goal of a nursing career.

Writer-director Tamara Jenkins clearly loves these characters, and her film has the feel of good-natured autobiography, set in 1976 (without indulging phony nostalgia) and using rich, character-related comedy to express the understanding that all families are dysfunctional in their own functional way. Whether Vivian is allowing a new neighbor (indie-film regular Kevin Corrigan) to touch her breasts or taking cousin Rita's favorite vibrator for a euphoric test-drive, Jenkins and the wonderfully sardonic Lyonne maintain a fine balance of hilarity and sexual awkwardness while giving equal time to Vivian's taunting siblings and well-meaning father. Consisting of loosely connected episodes that add up to a vivid family portrait, this remarkably well-cast film will be a treat for anyone who remembers (or is still going through) the emotional minefield of adolescence. --Jeff Shannon

Personal Details
My Rating
Seen It No
Index 1396
Collection Status In Collection
Purchase Date 7/27/04
Store Copy
Owner NF
Links Amazon US
All Movie Guide
Folder 012
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
Screen Ratio 1.85:1
UPC 086162103797
Release Date 12/17/02
Subtitles English; Spanish
Audio Tracks English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 1.0
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Color Closed-captioned Widescreen