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Critics' Picks

'This Is My Life'

April 11, 1993|Michael Wilmington

Nora Ephron, who makes her directorial debut with this very smart and likable 1992 release, shows us the world of talk-show TV, Las Vegas clubs, the glamorous, glitzy sites from the edges: the perspective of two young girls (Gaby Hoffmann, left, and Samantha Mathis) whose mother (Julie Kavner) zooms to success in stand-up comedy. Adapted by Ephron and her sister Delia from a Meg Wolitzer novel, the film manages to overcome a big flaw. Kavner has the stuff to make her Dottie Ingels seem like a sensation, but the Ephrons haven't given her enough to work with; luckily, the movie slides over this weakness because Kavner interacts so well with the girls.

(HBO Saturday at 6 a.m.)

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