Sheila Levine Is Dead And Living In New York

  • 1975
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy

An attempt to portray the life of urbanites in their cosmic struggle falls flat most of the time as the actors grab for humor that isn't there. Still, the recognizable characters salvage a few chuckles. Berlin, a frumpy suburbanite, moves to the East Side of Manhattan. She brings with her all the neuroses and insecurities of generations, but she copes with...read more

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An attempt to portray the life of urbanites in their cosmic struggle falls flat most of the time as the actors grab for humor that isn't there. Still, the recognizable characters salvage a few chuckles. Berlin, a frumpy suburbanite, moves to the East Side of Manhattan. She brings with her

all the neuroses and insecurities of generations, but she copes with her upbringing and the layers of guilt that have supposedly been placed upon her. She wanders into a singles bar one evening, meets Scheider, a doctor, and they have a one-night stand. To Scheider it's just an evening, but to

Berlin, it's the love of her life, so, as is so often the case, one is the smitten and the other is the smittee. When Scheider snubs her, Berlin is anguished, and she gets even more upset when the physician begins to date her swinging roommate, Smith. Nothing much happens to change anyone in the

picture, but we are treated to at least a cursory examination of life in New York in the early 1970s. The movie makes points when it examines the life of the "struggler," the woman not so fair of face and with no talent or ambition who realizes that she has to get someone with those qualities or

be left behind. Berlin is one of those many who are destined to be left on the side while the grand scheme of things continues. The picture might have been shot with a "banaloscope" as the details are those appreciated by ordinary folks, not the Hollywood or Fifth Avenue glitzers. Berlin is

excellent and comes by her believable acting genetically, as she is the daughter of Elaine May. Scheider is also good, and Melton and Brandt are convincing as Berlin's middle-class parents. Leda Rogers does an interesting, albeit extraneous, bit as the lesbian next door. The screenwriters were

longtime TV sketch writers for Carol Burnett and other variety artists, and at times some of this looks like a skit. To his credit, director Furie put aside his bag of cinematic tricks to attempt a more conventional telling of a story. A few sharp lines and comments, but most of the characters

have been seen all too often before. Talsky's costume design is right on the money.

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  • Released: 1975
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: An attempt to portray the life of urbanites in their cosmic struggle falls flat most of the time as the actors grab for humor that isn't there. Still, the recognizable characters salvage a few chuckles. Berlin, a frumpy suburbanite, moves to the East Side… (more)

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