Saturday, September 13, 2014


RADIO DAYS doesn't have a straight-forward story, instead it's a collection of anecdotes, urban legends and memories told by a fictional narrator (Allen) fondly remembering the innocent days of his youth growing up in the late 30's/early 40's Rockaway Beach, NY.  Not all of the stories have to do with Rockaway Beach, but most of them do have something to do with radio whether it's the radio performers themselves, something playing over a radio or an actual physical radio itself.  Another focal point is the narrator's family.  It's a big family and they all live in the same house.  I especially liked his mother (Julie Kavner), his father (Michael Tucker) and his lovelorn aunt, played wonderfully by Dianne Wiest.

From beginning to end RADIO DAYS is a delight.  The stories come and go in a leisurely manner and none of them overstay their welcome.  In fact, a lot of them could have been longer.  My favorites were: everything with Mia Forrow (of course), the one where his uncle goes to confront their Communist neighbor (Larry David) and ends up renouncing God, the baseball player that keeps getting injured and the one where the narrator sees his teacher naked.  We also get to hear Diane Keaton sing, which is always a joy.

How much you like RADIO DAYS will depend on how much you enjoy nostalgic stories, but for me I thought it was great.  Would make an interesting double-feature with Fellini's AMARCORD.  Oh yeah, I nearly forgot, the 30's/40's soundtrack is magnificent!