Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jewtopia

The premise of Jewtopia is that a WASP-y guy wants to marry a Jewish woman so that he'll "never have to make another decision for the rest of his life".

The ethnically sensitive need not apply.

In fact, this is probably the most racially insensitive movie since Blazing Saddles. (Excepting maybe Avatar.)

We, of course, loved it. It's not great, admittedly: As a romantic-comedy, it stretched the tropes beyond recognition. There are a lot of missed jokes. A lot. But the movie trundles in its good-naturedly offensive way, pitching the whole way true.

Stereotyped here are Jews, of course, but also rednecks, hispanics, Mongolians—blacks not so much.

The story is preposterous: The whole premise of a Romantic Comedy is that the two principles must get together in the end, and yet we start with a significant lie—well, beyond the usual romcom lie, as virtually everything about Christian (Ivan Sergei) is completely false facilitated by childhood best friend Joel David Moore.

The Jewess of his dreams, Alison, is played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. 'nuff said.

Actually, for what seems to be a pretty low budget flick, the cast is pretty packed. Wendy Malick and Phil Rosenthal play the future in-laws, Rita Wilson and Jon Lovitz play Moore's parents, and there's Tom Arnold and Cheryl David and I've probably stretched the point further than it will go.

In the weirdest bit of casting, Peter Stormare, a Swede best known as the main nihilist Uli ("Karl Hungus") in The Big Lebowski, plays Christian's redneck father, and hits the accent about 1/2 the time. Generously.

I felt, at that point, that writer/director Brian Fogel was positively daring the audience to take it seriously enough to be offended by that.

That said, at the Encino location where I saw this, they informed me quite a few women had dragged their husbands out of the movie about an hour in, apparently failing to appreciate the irony of doing so.

About an hour in is where the labioplasty/circumcision jokes start. And as racially insensitive as this movie is, it's not demure about the sex stuff either.

On an unrelated note, Elaine Tan is as hot as her ultimate role in the movie was obvious.

But, once again, this isn't really a Romantic Comedy as a shaggy dog story, a vehicle for a variety of catskill-level jokes that, like a fledgling borscht-belt comedian throwing everything at the wall in the hopes that you'll laugh.

Well, we did.

Fun bit of trivia, the co-writer for the film, Sam Wolfson, appeared with Fogel in the flick Race To Witch Mountain. It'd be amusing to think they met on the set and crafted the idea (and possibly wrote the script) while on breaks appearing as Imperial Storm Trooper Gray and Imperial Storm Trooper Ciardi.

1 comment:

  1. Lin Shaye was in this, too! She's everywhere! She's everywhere! She's everywhere!

    ReplyDelete

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