Picks and Pans Review: Goodbye, New York
In this likable comedy, a ditzy New Yorker, Julie (Airplane!) Hagerty, quits her boring insurance job and, while she's at it, leaves her coked-up, philandering husband as well. She hops on a plane to Paris, a place she has always wanted to visit. Popping a few Valiums to relax, Hagerty passes out and misses her stop. When she awakens she is in an Israeli airport with no money, no luggage and no idea what to do. How Hagerty clumsily finds her way among tough kibbutz farmers and the urban Israelis of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem lies at the heart of this genial movie, written and directed by Amos (Worlds Apart) Kollek, the son of Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek. On the kibbutz Hagerty mucks around in cow pens in high-heeled pumps. She wants to prove herself so badly that she accepts a challenge to devour 60 green bananas in a sitting. The sight of the dainty Hagerty determinedly stuffing fruit in her mouth as fast as she can is almost painfully funny. Scenes like these, in which Hagerty gets to show off her physical humor, lend Goodbye, New York its most entertaining moments. Kollek also co-stars as a horny but soft-hearted soldier who helps Hagerty out in the hope that she'll assuage his loneliness. While Hagerty gets most of Goodbye, New York's pratfalls, Kollek, who possesses the same self-deprecating aplomb as Judd Hirsch, gets the comedy's best lines. When Kollek is on patrol with his military buddies, he complains about the lack of women. "I like a little sex with my violence," he says. Kollek's script and direction are uneven. The plot is sometimes contrived or just plain silly, but the warmth and relaxed humor of Goodbye, New York, coupled with Hagerty's wide-eyed charm, make this movie diverting armchair travel. (No rating)
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