8 May 2005 | lee_eisenberg
It would probably be a good idea for anyone getting involved in a relationship to see this movie
Whoa! I've heard of some screwed up people, but Alexander Portnoy (Richard Benjamin) belongs in a class on his own. Through a session with his psychiatrist, he tells the story of how his overbearing mother (Lee Grant) kept a little bit too tight a rein on his sexuality during his formative years, and he ended up with a mangled view of relationships. He dates a number of women, but none of them work out. As Alexander says at one point: "I'm living my life as a Jewish joke."
The sad part is, much what happens in "Portnoy's Complaint" probably really happened. Philip Roth's two most famous novels (the other one was "Goodbye, Columbus") both dealt with Jewish neurosis. Alexander's mother is truly the sort of mother whom no one wants to have (she takes a certain bizarre interest in the results of people's bodily functions). Some people may wonder why they made this into a movie, but it definitely shows a side of life that we too often forget about. And anyway, regardless of one's opinion of it, "Portnoy's Complaint" is a much more justifiable movie than "Independence Day" or Bio-Dome".