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Movie Review Private Benjamin
 September 23, 2004
 
Grade:  B+
Director:  Howard Zieff Released:  October 1980
Writer:  Nancy Meyers, Harvey Miller MPAA Rating:  R
Players:  Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan, Armand Assante Running time:  109 minutes
Ratings Methodology


 

Private Benjamin may be Goldie Hawn's most memorable film (more memorable than Protocol, that's for sure).  She's surrounded by an excellent comedic cast, and the interplay between her and Eileen Brennan is classic.  It's a funny movie ... with a heart. (Aawwww, aren't I a softie!?)

I know you might be thinking many elements of Private Benjamin are cliche, but try to remember this is one of the movies that made them cliche.  Before Private Benjamin and Stripes there were no military-comedy-movie cliches.  Those films invented them.

My issue with Private Benjamin is the entire section after she moves to France.  The movies unravels a bit and loses direction.  All the stuff on the base, from basic training through the Thornbirds is all great.  When she moves to France it's like a whole different movie.  Not nearly as funny, it turns into more of a drama at that point.  There's nothing really wrong with that section, it just belongs in a different movie.

What would a comedy be if not quotable?  Private Benjamin measures up in this department with plenty of quotable lines.  "I joined a DIFFERENT army.  I joined the one with the condos."  "It was my former career."  "J-U-D-Y Judy!  And I'd like somebody to call me by my name!"  "The army couldn't afford drapes?  I'll be up at the crack of dawn here!"  And there's more ... but I ain't got time to list all of them, fruitcake.  Go watch the movie!

- crocoPuffs

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The beautiful P.J. Soles is the connection between this movie and Stripes.  In Stripes she plays Stella the M.P., and Murray's love interest.  In Private Benjamin she plays Pvt. Winter, the brown-nosing soldier, which includes a brief nude shot of her.

crocoWife says:   "I love this movie!"


 

 
     
 
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