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Down and Out in Beverly Hills

Where to Watch Down and Out in Beverly Hills

R
1986

Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a dark comedy film released in 1986. The film, directed by Paul Mazursky, boasts a star-studded cast including Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, and Richard Dreyfuss. The story revolves around a middle-aged, successful but unfulfilled man named Dave Whiteman (Dreyfuss) who lives in a luxurious mansion in Beverly Hills with his wife and teenage daughter. One day, he meets a homeless man named Jerry Baskin (Nolte) while driving home, and invites him to stay over for dinner.

Jerry is not like any other homeless man Dave has ever met before. He is well-read, eloquent, and has a certain charm about him that is difficult not to notice. After a night of drunken revelry, Dave decides to invite Jerry to stay with his family. This decision opens up a Pandora’s box of personal and family issues. Jerry’s presence in the Whiteman’s mansion incites a whirlwind of emotions and events that will change the course of all of their lives.

As the story unfolds, we see how Jerry’s presence exposes the cracks in the Whiteman family’s façade. The family's wealth and privilege have shielded them from the harsh realities of the world, but Jerry’s presence makes them confront the truth about themselves and their lives. While Dave’s wife Barbara (Midler) initially resents Jerry’s intrusion into their home, she soon finds herself drawn to him, leading to several hilarious and chaotic situations.

Despite being a comedy, Down and Out in Beverly Hills deals with some serious themes, such as the malaise and emptiness that comes with materialism, and the healing power of human connection. Throughout the movie, Jerry acts as a catalyst for change in the Whiteman family’s lives, bringing them closer to each other and helping them heal from their personal issues. The film also tackles issues such as homelessness, class disparity, and the human desire for companionship and purpose.

One of the strongest aspects of Down and Out in Beverly Hills is the performances of its three leads. Richard Dreyfuss, playing the role of Dave Whiteman, is excellent as a man struggling to find meaning in his successful but unsatisfying life. Bette Midler brings her trademark humor and wit to the role of Barbara, who initially resents Jerry’s presence but is soon drawn to him. But it’s Nick Nolte who steals the show as Jerry Baskin. His performance as a homeless man with a heart of gold is nuanced, poignant, and at times, downright hilarious.

The film also boasts impressive cinematography by Donald McAlpine, who captures the excess and grandeur of Beverly Hills. The film’s use of color is especially noteworthy, using bright and bold colors to emphasize the Whiteman family’s wealth and luxury.

Overall, Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a smart, witty, and insightful comedy that explores the complexities of human relationships and the meaning of life. It’s a timeless film that still holds relevance today, nearly 35 years after its original release.

Down and Out in Beverly Hills is a Comedy movie released in 1986. It has a runtime of 103 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 72.

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6.2/10
72/100
Director
Paul Mazursky
Stars
Nick Nolte, Bette Midler, Richard Dreyfuss
Genres
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