Lost in Yonkers

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -1

If you like to laugh a little, chuckle a lot, and maybe even shed a tear or two, you will enjoy Neil Simons' latest, LOST IN YONKERS. Set in the summer of 1942, two young boys, Jay (Mike Damus) and Arty (Brad Stoll), are left with their stoic, stern Jewish grandmother (Irene Worth) in Yonkers, New York, while their father travels to earn a living. She lives over her candy store with one of her daughters, Bella (Mercedes Reuhl). Bella is 36, going on 13, and the joke of the family. She is obviously "not quite right;" her child-like exuberance and slightly daft behavior is both lovable and annoying to those who know her. When the grandmother's errant son, Uncle Louie (Richard Dreyfus) appears unexpectedly, it's to hideout from gang members he has been working for. The children's fear of their grandmother, awe of their Uncle Louie, and fondness for Bella make for a delightful evening's entertainment.

Although "dysfunctional family" is a term for the '90s, it certainly describes this family of the '40s. Emotion is a dirty word to Grandmother; she never shows any and doesn't want anyone else to either. Her children have all suffered from her coldness. Louie has rebelled all his life, the boys' father has avoided her until forced to ask for help, and Bella has covered her hurt with a "happy face." Nevertheless, her family is her life. Arty and Jay grow to care for her. Uncle Louie teaches the boys to play poker, lets them puff on a cigarette, and even uses Jay to help him escape from his pursuers. However, when Bella makes a desperate plea for help to become independent, Louie is the one who gives her $5,000 to open a restaurant. Jay learns to stand up for his absent father, and Arty overcomes his fear of Grandmother. Louie provides most of the gratuitous "colorful" language that includes two regular profanities, a few slang obscenities and some suggestive dialogue. Heartwarming and entertaining, LOST IN YONKERS could be an unqualified winner except for its limited offensive language.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 711 5th Ave., NY, NY 10022

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Moderate - Once

Obscene Language: Few (4) times (slang for genitals)

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular 2; Exclamatory 6

Violence: Once - Moderate (boy slammed against car and threatened with gun)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Uncle teases boy about his sexual development

Drugs: None

Other: Uncle teaches boys to play poker; lets boy puff on cigarette

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