Comedy Sundays for summer

Jun 26, 2012
"Brighton Beach Memoirs" will open Belfast Free Library's summer comedy film series.

Belfast — Just for Laughs, the Belfast Free Library’s summer comedy movie series, returns for a second season to run from the beginning of July through Labor Day weekend. All the movies are scheduled for 7 p.m. Sundays, with the exception of Saturday, July 14 due to another library event the following night. Admission is free.

The entire series spans four decades, starting with the 1970s. It features a wide variety of Hollywood’s most memorable comedies, along with some of the funniest actors and actresses to ever grace the silver screen.

It all kicks off Sunday, July 1 with "Brighton Beach Memoirs." The year is 1937; the place is Brooklyn, N.Y. Eugene is a Jewish teenager searching for identity in his crowded Brighton Beach apartment, which includes his parents, his older brother, his aunt and two cousins. Sexual awakening has never been portrayed this comically. Adapted from Neil Simon’s Broadway play, "Brighton Beach Memoirs" stars Jonathan Silverman and Blythe Danner.

On July 8, the series presents the Mel Brooks tour-de-force "Young Frankenstein." Try living down the family name when the family name is Frankenstein — Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) has spent his whole life distancing himself from his famous grandfather’s experiments; then he inherits the castle. With the help of a hunchback, a hot lab assistant and a scary housekeeper, Frederick breathes life into the monster with hilarious consequences.

On July 14, the sole Saturday program, the series will screen "When Harry Met Sally." Is it possible for an eligible man and eligible woman to be just friends? Will the “benefits” ruin a great friendship? That’s the question Harry and Sally struggle with at different points in their lives. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in perhaps the best romantic comedy of its generation.

On July 22, the movie is Albert Brooks' "Defending Your Life." What really happens when we die? Hollywood has explored this theme for years, but it rarely has been touched on with such humor and wit. After dying in a car crash, Daniel arrives at Judgment City, where he is forced to defend his actions on earth before he can “move on.” Brooks, Meryl Streep and Rip Torn turn the after-life into laughter-life.

July wraps on the 29th with "American Graffiti," which dissects a summer night in 1962 in Modesto, Calif. Two high school grads cruise the strip one last time before heading off to college. The rock-n-roll soundtrack alone takes viewers back to a time when phones still had cords and tweeting was done by canaries. The heavy dose of nostalgia stars Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford and Wolfman Jack.

Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or

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