In 1988, Mike Nichols released his movie version of Biloxi Blues, the Neil Simon play. Focused on military recruits at a Biloxi, Mississippi base, it is a bouncy comedy about the ugliness of army life and is also somewhat nostalgic about it. Ably acted by Matthew Broderick, Eugene Jerome is Simon’s alter ego, aspiring to write, oft with the blues. But not always. In one day he loses his virginity to a prostitute and falls in love with a high school girl.

This leads me to the complaint that everything in Simon’s story is too pat. And there is crisp dialogue, to be sure, but it could stand to be a bit funnier and even wittier. Nichols directed, but unlike other of the man’s works, the film is basically inartistic. Re two thespians: Corey Parker is wonderful as a recruit called Epstein, and Christopher Walken is virtually hypnotic and droll.