Cinema: Strictly Nonkosher

PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT

Directed by ERNEST LEHMAN Screenplay by ERNEST LEHMAN

Whatever the merits of Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint as a novel, it is certainly the greatest closet nightclub act of our time. In sketch after sketch, Roth cuts into the family and sex life of a Jewish neurotic until funny bone and inflamed nerve ending become indistinguishable. "I'm caught in the middle of a Jewish joke," cries Alexander Portnoy to his psychoanalyst, "and it isn't funny."

Being caught in the middle of Ernest Lehman's debasement of Roth's novel isn't funny either. As the movie version...

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