Cinema: Slums Of Beverly Hills

Written and Directed by Tamara Jenkins

Murray Abramowitz (Alan Arkin), trapped in dreams of lost prosperity, urges his kids to think of themselves as nomads, adventurers wresting their livelihood from a harsh yet enticing landscape. His daughter Vivian (Natasha Lyonne)--15 and squirmy with all the anxieties, social and sexual, of her age group--knows better. The swell school district isn't worth what living in the slums of Beverly Hills entails: decamping from sleazy apartments at night to avoid the rent, taking in a crazy cousin (Marisa Tomei) in hopes her father will support the Abramowitzes in a style to which they're unaccustomed. There's farce in Jenkins' reflections on...

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