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Mr. Saturday Night This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   This movie is rated R. Those under 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

In the film, "Mr. Saturday Night," Billy Crystal , who also directs it, turns in a stellar performance as Buddy Young Jr., a razor-tongued, cigar-chomping comedian who never quite got as much out of stand-up comedy as he put in. The film chronicles Buddy's rise to minor stardom via a series of flashbacks. These flashbacks review Buddy's small scale success, which he attains by endless promotional touring, and by becoming a bickering, hyper negative grouch that alienates friends and audiences alike for a quick laugh and a quick buck. Buddy's success hits its pinnacle with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, where he is upstaged by The Beatles.

After his tedious climb to the top and short-lived zenith, Buddy begins his slow, spiraling descent into a broken down, old man, who has slowly drifted away from anyone or anything that is really important to him. It is Buddy's struggle to rectify those ailing relationships that occupies the latter half of the film.

Complementing Crystal's exceptional portrayal of Buddy are David Paymer, as Buddy's brother and original theatrical agent, who is the major receiver of his brother's mental and verbal abuse. Paymer plays the role of Buddy's scratching post with touching authenticity. Julie Warner, as Buddy's neglected wife, is also outstanding. The film reaches its climax when Buddy realizes that he is responsible for the fact his career never took off, and not that he was victimized by a series of bad luck which he claims for most of the movie. All of the components are in place here, and the result is a phenomenal film. Crystal, though not usually seen in dramatic roles like this, adapts well and turns in what is easily his best performance since "When Harry Met Sally."

The film, in addition to being a thoughtful character study of one man's obsession with a profession that has no security and ultimately no place for him, is also extremely funny, and well worth the price of a ticket. n

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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