New York Times - 12/25/1986
"...A warmly nostalgic quality that has traveled very nicely to the screen....Funny, affecting and, in the best sense, familiar."
Variety - 12/17/1986
"...[The] performances are skilled all the way through....[The] lighting gives everything an airy, luminous quality..."
In Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical story, Eugene is a 15-year-old aspiring writer with only two things on his mind - baseball and sex. The comedic trials and tribulations of growing up in his crowded Jewish household show off Simon at his best. Based on the Tony-winning stage play.
Based loosely on playwright/screenwriter Neil Simon's own life, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" focuses on aspiring writer Eugene Jerome and his large Jewish family in their overcrowded Brooklyn home in 1937. His parents work and worry and meddle into everyone else's lives -- and they can always find enough to keep them in a tizzy: Eugene, as far as everyone is concerned, has recently become a bit too fascinated by the fairer sex, with much of his attention fixated on his dishy cousin, a would-be Broadway dancer. His older brother works at a blue-collar job and has run up a big gambling debt. And his widowed aunt (much to Mrs. Jerome's consternation) is considering a romance with the Irishman across the street.
Coming Of Age |
Family Interaction |
Stage Play |
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" is the first installment of Neil Simon's autobiographical trilogy. All three were originally produced for the Broadway stage before being filmed. "Biloxi Blues" (1988) was the second film to go before the cameras. Matthew Broderick played the Neil Simon role of "Eugene Jerome." Mike Nichols directed the Neil Simon screenplay. The film also featured Christopher Walken, Matt Mulhern, Corey Parker, Markus Flanagan, Casey Siemasko, Michael Dolan. Penelope Ann Miller, and Park Overall. The third, "Neil Simon's 'Broadway Bound'" (1992) was adapted for TV rather than the big screen, and starred Anne Bancroft, Hume Cronyn, Corey Parker, Jerry Orbach, Michelle Lee, and Jonathan Silverman as "Eugene," reprising the role he played in "Brighton Beach."
Th Broadway play, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" opened in New York on March 27, 1983 at the Alvin Theater, after a run in Los Angeles at the end of 1982. It was written by Simon and staged by his longtime collaborator Gene Saks. Starring as "Eugene Jerome" was Matthew Broderick, who appeared in all three stage productions in the Simon trilogy. The play also featured Joyce Van Patten, Elizabeth Franz, Mindy Ingber, Jodi Thelin, Zeljko Ivanek, and Peter Michael Goetz. None of the Broadway cast appeared in the film adaptation.