It’s Romantic, Crude And Other Things: The “Goodbye Columbus” Movie

Larry Peerce’s Goodbye Columbus (1969) is a Hollywood movie for adults since the Philip Roth story from which it derives is a novella for adults.  It is well known that it has to do with the attitude of rich American Jews toward low-income Jews (and vice versa), but when Peerce isn’t proving what a romantic he is, he is imposing on us some ugly, very raffish, and insulting satire.  Romantic?  Yes, in the scenes where Neil and Brenda, falling in love, are together, and these can be pleasant.  Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw enact the lovers with savvy and heart.  But Goodbye Columbus is pushy and fails to adequately convey the ultimate meaning of Roth’s story (in the diaphragm sequence).  It is, I think, worth seeing but just barely.

Goodbye, Columbus (film)
Goodbye, Columbus (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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