The Freshman

First-year film student (Matthew Broderick) at New York University finds himself working for an apparent Mafia chieftain (Marlon Brando) with a surprisingly close resemblance to Don Corleone in The Godfather, in a delightful, imaginative screwball comedy written and directed by Andrew Bergman (So Fine). Though Bergman is more accomplished as a comic writer than as a director (his credits include Blazing Saddles, The In-Laws, and Big Trouble), his madcap ideas carry the picture, and Brando's wonderful low-key performance—less a parody of his Don Corleone than a revised-and-corrected life-size version—never falters. Sweet and warm as well as manic, this is full of loopy surprises, and the supporting cast (including Penelope Ann Miller, Bruno Kirby, Steve Bushak, Maximilian Schell, and Bert Parks, playing himself in his film debut) is uniformly fine (1990). PG, 102 min.

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