Biloxi Blues is an agreeable but hardly inspired film version of Neil Simon’s second installment of his autobiographical trilogy, which bowed during the 1984-85 season. Even with high-powered talents Mike Nichols and Matthew Broderick aboard, World War II barracks comedy provokes just mild laughs and smiles rather than the guffaws Simon’s work often elicits in the theater.
Film is narrated from an adult perspective by Simon’s alter ego, Eugene Morris Jerome (Broderick), an aspiring writer called up for service in the waning months of the war.
With 10 weeks of boot camp ahead of them, it’s not at all sure that Eugene and his cohorts will ever see action, but that doesn’t prevent basic training from being a living hell relieved only by an excursion into town to party and look for ladies.
Playing a character perched precisely on the point between adolescence and manhood, Broderick is enjoyable all the way.
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Penelope Ann Miller is adorable as the girl who inspires love at first sight in Eugene at a dance, while the most intriguing performance comes from Christopher Walken as the weird sergeant.