Yes, it's the all-Yiddish disco musical of 1982... And it's even worse than it sounds. Absolutely hilarious, and not at all in the way its makers intended. Dictionary-definition 'kitsh'.
By the time this movie was made, Yiddish theatre (which Yiddish cinema had always been an outgrowth of) had essentially degenerated to simple-minded musicals for nostalgia-hungry audiences with no taste. And that's what this is. Not 'lightweight and witty' -- this ain't no Lubitsch -- just simple-minded. Okay, imbecilic.
Not only is the script awful -- Israeli yeshiva boy Bodo's cool-cat singer brother passes Bodo off as himself to in order avoid meeting a girl his mother wants to set him up with; the girl is a hot New York babe; wacky complications ensue, peppered with infantile 'jokes' -- but the filmmaking is cheap, clueless, and incompetent.
Cheap: the whole thing is shot in some kind of hotel that's closed for the season, apparently because someone thought it would look 'slick'. Actually it looks like a cheap resort hotel from the '70's. And it's STARVED for extras. (One particularly awful number -- an utterly pointless 'drunk' duet that's about as funny as a hemorrhage -- is shot in a patio area with chairs stacked on the tables, because there's no one to sit in them. Though at one point a chorus boy runs on behind the singers, twirls around a pole, and runs off again. I have no idea why.)
Clueless: Bodo, 51 years old at the time, is playing a teenage Yeshiva boy. He has no beard, probably because it was thought that would make him look younger. Yeah, sure. On the other hand, his 'wise old rabbi' has perhaps the phoniest-looking beard in the history of motion pictures. It's colored grey, but not a grey that any human hair has ever been colored.
In an insane attempt to be 'hip' (Did they think it would bring in younger audiences? Were they crazy?), there are actual disco numbers in Yiddish, with blase chorines in unitards and leg warmers "dancing" on a cheap platform stage. But the stage has no 'skirt' around it, so you can see that it's actually just a wooden platform covering some kind of storage space full of boxes. (Was there an art director credited (blamed) for this movie?)
Incompetent: The director had worked as an A.D. on the legendary "Hill 24 Does Not Answer", one of the movies that started Israeli cinema. Evidently he didn't learn too much. He went on to direct a few features, then this, which somebody must have seen at some point, because it ended his career. Basics of film language are missing. Ed Wood could do better than this. The best scenes look like bad '60's television. As we say in Yiddish, 'feh'.
Also, I mustn't forget to mention that the singer brother, who's supposed to be some sort of sex symbol but looks more like a retired mailman, can't actually sing (he 'flats' all over the place), and he dances like one of those inflatable men you see outside used-car lots.
Honestly, this is like really, really bad community theater, only it's in Yiddish.
Now don't get me wrong... This is actually hilarious if you're in the right frame of mind. The right gay audience, say, would be in hysterics over this.
Let's just say it's not for everyone. But it does have subtitles...
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