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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Biloxi Blues
Directed by Mike Nichols
Universal Studios Home Video 3/88 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG-13

Biloxi Blues is a sequel to Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs, which depicted the adolescence of Eugene Morris in a lower-middle-class Brooklyn household during the 1930's. Now it is 1943, and Eugene is on a train of recruits headed for boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi. His goals during basic training are to lose his virginity, and to fall in love. He accomplishes both: he is introduced to sex by a hooker with a heart of gold, and he is swept off his feet by a Catholic girl he meets at a dance. Matthew Broderick is terrific as this clever man who keeps a journal and dreams of being a successful writer one day. His mettle is tested by the strong-arm tactics of a hard-boiled drill segeant, played by Christopher Walken, and his friendship with the pariah of C Company, a New York intellecutal played by Corey Parker. Thanks to these two characters, Eugene comes face to face with his own moral flaw of self-absorption: he is forced to take a stand and throw aside his role as merely a witness to what goes on around him. Mark Nichols has done a good job of directing this comic gem. By walking a fine line between laughter and tears, Biloxi Blues comes to the screen as one of Neil Simon's best dramas ever.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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