The Freshman

Austin Chronicle

DIRECTED BY: Andrew Bergman

REVIEWED: 08-25-97

Matthew Broderick, Marlon Brando, Penelope Ann Miller, Bruno Kirby, Frank Whaley, Paul Benedict, B.D. Wong

Nothing soothes the mind of someone undergoing a traumatic change of residence like The Freshman, Andrew Bergman's brilliant fish-out-of-water story that, for some reason, never really found its audience. Broderick, a perennial favorite of mine, is the titular idealistic film student who finds himself victimized by a scam artist (Kirby) only 19 minutes after his arrival in New York City. What follows is a perfectly hilarious tale about what might be the mob (headed by a very Godfather-ish Brando), an elaborate "importing" scheme, the perils of film school, and a large Komodo dragon. With dead-on performances (Whaley and Kirby could both keep the film afloat on their own) and enough film references to keep the most dedicated cinephile interested, The Freshman is a woefully underlooked movie (that fortunately comes on cable all the time). Frankly, I never tire of watching this movie over and over again, and it always manages to make me forget my troubles (as well as Bergman's more recent work, like Striptease). Hopefully, Bergman will once again regain his instincts... or else I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.

--Christopher Null

Other Films by Andrew Bergman

Film Vault Suggested Links
The Great White Hype
Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo
Safe Men

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