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Private Benjamin Reviews

Goldie Hawn brings that old standby, the service comedy, into the 1980s in this funny tale of a Jewish girl who decides to be all that she can be in the all-new Army. After her second husband (wonderfully played by Albert Brooks) dies while they are making love, Hawn enlists in the Army, much to the chagrin of her well-to-do parents, Sam Wanamaker and Barbara Barrie. The reality of Army life under demanding commanding officer Eileen Brennan turns out to be a far cry from Hawn's notion that she'll have her own room to decorate and the opportunity to visit exciting locales. The pampered Hawn's reactions to rigorous training exercises, her interactions with her superiors, and a not-quite-successful love affair with French physician Armand Assante while on duty in Europe inspire plenty of laughs. Hawn makes the most of the script, written by Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, and Harvey Miller, providing many funny moments in her performance. Brennan, as her lesbian-leaning CO, Robert Webber (as the unit commander) and Mary Kay Place (as Judy's sidekick) also provide strong support.