Inside Monkey Zetterland

It’s not very funny or insightful or compelling, but it’s very LA, which gives it some minor exoticism in the midwest. The trials and tribulations of an aspiring Jewish-neurotic screenwriter and part-time actor (Steven Astin) are the main bill of fare, and the cast of flaky characters includes his soap-opera-star mother (Katherine Helmond), his estranged girlfriend (Debi Mazar), his hairdresser brother (Tate Donovan), his lesbian sister (Patricia Arquette), his long-absent father (Bo Hopkins), his radical downstairs neighbor (Martha Plimpton), his ditsy across-the-street neighbor (Sandra Bernhard), and his dog (uncredited, but my favorite performance). Astin wrote the script and coproduced, and Jefery Levy directed (1992). (JR)

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