Lost in Yonkers (1993) starring Richard Dreyfuss, Mercedes Ruehl, Irene Worth, Brad Stoll directed by Martha Coolidge Movie Review

Lost in Yonkers (1993)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Mercedes Ruehl in Lost in Yonkers (1993)

Lost on Me

Following the death of their mother, Jay (Mike Damus) and Arty (Brad Stoll) have to live with their Grandma (Irene Worth) in her candy store in Yonkers whilst their father heads South for work. But between their Grandma being strict and their Aunt Bella (Mercedes Ruehl) acting like an over grown school girl it isn't much fun for the boys especially with Bella planning to get married so she can leave. It doesn't get much better when their Uncle Louie (Richard Dreyfuss) shows up as he is a small time gangster with people after him for some stolen money. For the boys stolen money is a possibility as they try to come up with a way to get some money so their dad can come back and get them.

In "Lost in Yonkers" Irene Worth plays a strict, heartless Grandma who pretty much interrogates people rather than talk to them, bangs her stick when she walks and bosses people around in a controlling manner. It is a wonderful performance from Worth but here is the thing the character is a caricature, embellished to be full on and amusing. But whilst initially it is entertaining there needs to be something more and I didn't get anything more. Yet I am sure there are people who watch "Lost in Yonkers" and can think back to their childhood and a real person who in their mind was just like Grandma.

Richard Dreyfuss in Lost in Yonkers (1993)

The same can be said when it comes to Mercedes Ruehl as Aunt Bella who is forgetful and frequently behaves like an over grown school girl. It is an attention grabbing performance from Ruehl but is such a caricature that the strength of it is if you can remember someone like her from your own childhood. I could go on down the memory route because a big slice of the appeal of "Lost in Yonkers" is the trip down memory lane and unless you share some of the same experiences the movie just doesn't really work beyond a movie with a good look and enjoyable performances.

Even when you look past the trip down nostalgia lane the actual story developments in "Lost in Yonkers" with Bella wanting to escape via marrying Johnny doesn't really do much to enthral those who are still struggling to connect with the characters and the situation.

What this all boils down to is that "Lost in Yonkers" has a great look and some amusing characters but it just didn't draw me in like it has others and I put it down to being unable to connect with the characters and their situation.