Co-writer/ producer/ director Paul Mazursky’s attractive, amusing and enjoyable 1984 character-driven comedy provides a fine showcase for Robin Williams from the interesting time when he was still establishing himself as a movie star and just before his film career got fully into its stride.
Williams plays Vladimir Ivanoff, a Russian circus performer who defects in New York City store Bloomingdale’s when his Russian circus visits the US. Cue some smiles, some tears and much warmth. And Mazursky has created a useful, quite memorable character for Williams who, as always, gives it everything. However, Mazursky’s co-written screenplay (with Leon Capetanos) does not always have quite enough pace and drive to allow him deliver a totally dynamic movie as director.
It is perhaps best viewed as a good-mood late-night movie to send you contentedly to sleep afterwards. It is entirely Williams’s show, in a bit of a tour de force, but Maria Conchita Alonso, Cleavant Derricks, Alejandro Rey, Savely Kramarov and Elya Baskin are also in the cast.
Robin Williams (1951–2014).
Paul Mazursky (1930–2014).
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4128
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