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Just Looking

Director:Jason Alexander
Writer:Marshall Karp
Sony Pictures Classics; R; 97 minutes
Release:10/00
Cast:Ryan Merriman, Gretchen Mol, Joey Franquinha

Seinfeld's George Costanza (Jason Alexander) helped build the series with his post-Woody Allen blend of neurosis manifested in one of the world's most maddening cities. One would think that as a director, Alexander could bring the same wit to a comedy about growing up Jewish in 1950s New York City. Not so. Just Looking, his debut movie, lags behind, never really ascending into likability.

Lenny is a 14-year-old Bronx boy who's so obsessed with sex that he attempts to catch his mother in the act. When Lenny gets sent to live with relatives in Queens for the summer, he joins a "sex club" where local kids share mistaken knowledge about the forbidden act. Lenny also befriends a former bra model (Gretchen Mol) while working at his uncle's store.

Just Looking is essentially a coming of age comedy stacked with juvenile jokes. Every once in a while some obtuse reminder announces it as a period film. Just Looking dawdles several steps away from it's apparent goal: to be an R-rated Wonder Years.


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