22 July 2007 | blanche-2
A homeless man is a adopted by a rich family
Nick Nolte is "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," a 1986 film directed and co-written by Paul Mazursky and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Bette Midler, Elizabeth Pena, Little Richard, and Tracy Nelson. Nolte is Jerry, a street person so low even his dog leaves him for a kind jogger. While searching for his dog, he stumbles onto the property of Dave and Barbara Whiteman - Whiteman is a clothes hanger king living the good life in Beverly Hills. Filling his pockets with rocks, Jerry attempts suicide by diving into the Whiteman pool, but is saved and ultimately taken in by Dave. Jerry isn't particularly grateful - he wants Courvoisier instead of the alcohol offered him, and, given dinner, questions the meat on the turkey. Dave, guilty about his wealth, bored with his life, and wanting to do some good, buys Jerry clothes and lets him live at the mansion. He even offers Jerry jobs, which Jerry doesn't accept. Jerry's history is on the vague side - he speaks of doing the concert piano circuit, he is recognized in a restaurant by as a writer, maybe he did some acting...hard to know. Before long, he's taken over the entire household, becoming the only one in the house that the Whiteman's psychologically disturbed dog, Matisse, can tolerate, Barbara Whiteman's masseuse and the man who finds her G-spot, the lover of housekeeper Carmen (Pena) after Dave goes back to sleeping with Barbara, the man who gets the Whiteman's anorexic daughter (Nelson) to fall in love with him and start eating; and the man who convinces the androgynous Whiteman son to come out to his parents. Too late, Dave realizes he's Dr. Frankenstein, and Jerry is the monster.
This is an entertaining film with dark undertones and good performances, particularly from Nolte, Dreyfuss, Midler, Pena and Mike (Matisse the dog). Little Richard is a riot as a neighbor. Nolte is in great shape here, as is Midler, who looks fantastic. The party scene toward the end of the film where Dreyfuss chases Nolte throughout the house and grounds is quite funny. The ending isn't the best, but it's a fun watch anyway.