Paul Mazursky directed this absolute gem of a movie, an unabashedly patriotic, sentimental and wonderful little story that celebrates the very best of what America represents to the thousands of immigrants who come here every year. It's really hard to make a movie so unashamedly patriotic- Frank Capra was one of the few filmmakers able to pull it off, but Mazursky here comes the closest of any other film since Hollywood's golden age to do so, and he does it a modern (well, 1980's modern), genuinely moving and warmly affectionate way. Robin Williams gives one of his all time best performances (none of his usual schtick is present here) as a Russian musician who defects to the U.S. on a trip to New York, and spends the rest of the film working a series of odd jobs, falling in love, and making friends with others sharing his similar circumstances. Mazursky populates the film entirely with immigrants or minorities as he salutes the melting pot that makes America so great- there's no nostalgic longing for the 1950's white man in charge version of traditional America here, and this was thirty years ago, people. That's partly why the movie still feels fresh today, maybe even more so than it did back then. It's a lovely, heartwarming film and everyone should check it out, especially on the week of America's birthday.
Original 1984 Trailer: