Slums Of Beverly Hills

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

Fourteen year old Vivian (Natasha Lyonne) recently matured physically and feels deformed since her breasts seem over-developed. She lives with her divorced, 65 year old father Murray (Alan Arkin) and two brothers. Murray has fallen on hard times so they move from apartment to apartment as the rent come due. But they stay in the city limits of Beverly Hills so the kids can go to a good school. Murray's brother, a wealthy business man has a 29 year old daughter, Rita (Marisa Tomei), with a drug problem. Rita escapes from a drug rehab hospital and goes to Beverly Hills to find Murray. Murray lets Rita move in to teach Vivian about woman things and, at the same time, get his brother to finance their current stay. Vivian helps Rita get to nursing school on time, while Rita teaches Vivian about adult women things. Vivian plans on getting a breast reduction but discovers part of her family heritage is in her looks. Sometimes humorous and sometimes poignant, this coming of age story and discovering what family means lacks enough sparkle to draw large crowds. Much of the crude sexual humor deals with Vivian's breasts. The opening scene has her in a bra shop where the saleswomen tells her "breasts are wonderful." Several other ladies are seen in the background also trying on bras. Murray later tells her to wear her bra with a halter top. Moving into a new place, a neighboring boy, who admits to being a "pot" dealer, is attracted to Vivian. Her younger brother discovers a long dead cat in the oven. In the laundry room, Vivian lets the neighbor feel her breasts without taking her sweater off, but stops any ideas of going further.

Breast nudity is shown several times and a few scenes show the brothers in their underwear. Rita is shown in her underwear a couple of times and one scene has her towel fall in front of her male cousins. Blood is seen on a chair when Vivian starts her menstrual period and an older woman offers her a sanitary pad and belt. She also learns Rita is pregnant by a guy she met at the rehab center. A scene of the girls dancing with a vibrator is crudely humorous and Vivian's face is shown as she later uses the vibrator for sexual purposes. Other crude humor involves her giving a urine sample to Rita for nursing school so they won't learn of the pregnancy. The sample spills, splashing on Vivian. She also loses her virginity with the drug dealer in the backseat of a car. A couple of brief violent scenes occur as Murray tells of stabbing a fork into his restaurant chef's leg which turns up hidden steaks. Vivian later stabs her uncle in the leg as he belittles Murray. Filled with crude humor, foul language, nudity and sexual content, the SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS are not a place to visit.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Fox Searchlight Pictures

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: Several (9) times - Mild 4, Regular

Obscene Language: Many (20) times - F 5, S 9, Other 6

Profanity: Many (22) times - Regular 17 (G 5, G-d 4, J/C 8) Exclamatory 5 (OG 2, OmG 1, MG 2)

Violence: Few times - man stabbed in leg w/ fork but turns out to be a stolen steak, paramedics break down door, uncle stabbed in leg w/fork

Sex: Implied once (nude bodies in car)

Nudity: Several times (breasts, female rear nudity) Near nudity - women in bras, boys in underwear, woman in towel, woman in underwear

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Almost continuous - Breasts talked about sometimes in crude slang, woman opens dress to stop truck, boy talks about guys wanting to get down girl's pants, teen boy feels girls breasts, crude reference to self-gratification, woman's towel drops in front of younger boy cousins, boy and girl discuss sex/virginity, girls play/dance with vibrator, girl uses vibrator for self-gratification (only her face shown), girl starts menstrual cycle - older woman gives her pad and belt, woman refers to being pregnant, older man and woman talk about sex, uncle puts hand on niece's breast, sensual kiss

Drugs: Several times - cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking, reference to selling pot, reference to detox hospital, reference to pills, marijuana packets put in girl's panties to hide, marijuana smoked by teen with bong

Other: Family nomadic - leaves apartments to avoid paying rent, father stays in area so kids can go to good school, reference to racist term, long dead cat pulled out of oven, reference to Jewish heritage, men refer to being father of another's children because they supply money, urine sounds - sample cup carried and spilled, blood seen on chair after girl gets up, boy spews food across table, woman vomits, premarital sex condoned, virginity not considered special

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: older teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.