The bittersweet comedy Memories of Me
stars Billy Crystal as Dr. Abbie Polin, a New York heart surgeon, long estranged from his father, Abe (Alan King). When the doctor suffers a mild heart attack, he tries to patch things up with his dad, hoping in this way to bring some equilibrium to his own life. This proves well-nigh impossible; Abe, the self-described "king of the Hollywood extras," is not only a play-actor in Tinseltown but in life itself, refusing to take on any real responsibilities, least of all the responsibility of parenthood. So far as Abe is concerned, his only "family" consists of his fellow extras. Though Abbie is extremely judgmental of his father, he himself is no prize in the commitment department, especially when dealing with his longtime lady friend (JoBeth Williams). Star/co-writer Crystal, co-star/co-producer King, and director Henry Winkler lay on the sentiment in thick, juicy slices toward the end. The final sequence in Memories of Me
, a Felliniesque
funeral, is very clever but somewhat out of synch with what has gone before. One of the film's highlights is a brief celebrity cameo by one of Alan King's "close personal friends."