Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Time Out saysA middlebrow American Graffiti, minus the music and set in Greenwich Village, 1953. Aspiring young actor moves into the Village, thereby allowing writer/director Mazursky to render into clichés all the obvious ingredients of the period: coffee bars, suicide bids, Actors' Studio classes, cheap parties, the Rosenbergs, uncertain contraception, illegal abortions. Add Shelley Winters as a Jewish momma to give the movie heart, and Antonio Fargas as a misunderstood black gay to give it pathos, and you have a fair idea of the film's efforts to win its audience. Sadly, the pretensions of most of the characters are matched by Mazursky: pointed homages to 'Gadge' Kazan and Marlon, unnecessary dream sequences, and continuous endorsement for his rather tedious characters; one is only surprised that there wasn't a kid called Jimmy Dean at the party.