4 user 9 critic

The Tollbooth (2004)

The Tollbooth Poster
1:30 | Trailer
This film follows a Jewish artist and her family.



2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


1 video »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

Two teens on their way to a backwoods party come across a beautiful young woman having car trouble. Their search for help only gets them lost, deep in the woods, where they meet Forest ... See full summary »

Directors: Bob Cea, Andrzej Krakowski, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, John Hensley, Joshua Harto
Duke (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Duke is a modern day telling of a classic western film. Dare and Roost are brothers who have been raised in a reformatory, taught to survive and conditioned to trust no one. They have moved... See full summary »

Directors: Anthony Gaudioso, James Gaudioso
Stars: Carmine Giovinazzo, Hank Harris, Lesley-Ann Brandt
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A lone, struggling addict takes on a dangerous underground criminal ring in his small Southern town to retrieve a stolen pendant he believes will save his marriage.

Director: Tim McCann
Stars: Vanessa Ferlito, Sam Trammell, Missy Yager
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A small-town waitress vies with a sassy city slicker for the attention of the town's most eligible bachelor.

Director: Vic Sarin
Stars: Marla Sokoloff, Jennifer Tilly, Monika Schnarre
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Puerto Rican family living in the area of Humboldt Park in west Chicago face what may be their last Christmas together.

Director: Alfredo Rodriguez de Villa
Stars: John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodríguez, Debra Messing
Crazylove (2005)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two institutionalized people discover love.

Director: Ellie Kanner
Stars: Reiko Aylesworth, Bruno Campos, JoBeth Williams
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A woman (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) believes that a baby will solve all her problems, but her husband (Cy Carter) resists fatherhood.

Director: Mo Perkins
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Cy Carter, Jimmi Simpson
Sugar & Spice (2001)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A popular high school cheerleader becomes pregnant with the star quarterback's child, only to find herself turning to crime to support the lifestyle she wants to live.

Director: Francine McDougall
Stars: Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton, Melissa George
Living Loaded (TV Movie 2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Centers on a loose partying blogger forced to change his career plans when he becomes a radio host.

Stars: Sugar Lyn Beard, Donald Sutherland, Mike Vogel
Water I (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

...On an East Coast Island off season, a woman's naked and badly beaten body washes ashore. Jessy Turner , the sister of the murdered woman, comes to the island to identify her sister's ... See full summary »

Director: Jennifer Houlton
Stars: Johnny Davidson, Googy Gress, Savannah Haske
Luis (TV Series 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Stars: Reggie Lee, Luis Guzmán, Diana Maria Riva
Director: Rob McElhenney
Stars: Morena Baccarin, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sarabeth Cohen
Ruthie Cohen
Isaac Cohen
Raquel Cohen-Flaxman
Becky Cohen
Simon Stanton
Howie Flaxman
Claire Beckman ...
Rabbi Glickstein
Rachel Black ...
Naomi (as Rachel Matthews Black)
Deborah Ostrowsky ...
Arleigh Richards ...
Maddie Stanton
William Wise ...
Bill Stanton
Young Sarabeth (as Amanda Stern)


This film follows a Jewish artist and her family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An Endearing Take on the Struggles of Leaving Brooklyn for Manhattan
23 February 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

Debut writer/director Debra Kirschner manages to steer clear of the clichés she is driving towards in "The Tollbooth" to create an endearing film.

The speed trap she has set up is the oft-told tale of the college senior graduating into Manhattan from bus and tunnel outskirts (hence the title, reinforced with many shots of bridges) for romance and to make it as an artist. But rather than another update of "La Boheme", we see a more realistic portrait of a young woman with close ties to her loving, religious Jewish family, and struggling with her feminism and day jobs to balance her muse, ambition and love life.

One of its charms is its fond understanding that she is young and immature, and that even though her parents have to bend, she also doesn't have all the right answers. No one here is an overnight success, let alone sure of themselves. And the apartments are believably small (so I was concerned they were breathing in all that paint in close quarters).

Marla Sokoloff is adorable and heart-tugging as the central "Sarabeth Cohen" in a much more substantive role than we've seen her in television shows where she's been able to shine in only small but memorable parts.

She has a wonderful rapport with a winning Rob McElhenney, who reins in the goofiness exhibited in his sit com "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", for a whole lot of charm and gentile boyfriend credibility as engineer "Simon Stanton". There's a wonderful scene where we can tell he's in the room just from an extended focus on her face. Unfortunately, his Pennsylvania relatives are portrayed a bit unfairly as stereotype little boxes suburbanites with more than a little anti-Semitism. There is a nice, sensitive twist in one scene as "Sarabeth" tries to fit in with them.

The intense central family is very warmly and for the most part realistically portrayed, as we see them through a year of Jewish holidays; the family is comfortably non-Orthodox observant Jewish and their observances are portrayed accurately. Though Tovah Feldshuh's mother is a broad portrayal and seems more like a grandmother than mother, it sets the stage for how the adult sisters fall into their childhood relationships, repeating Talmudic-like discussions and arguments when they are home - "the smart one" med student (Liz Stauber), the pregnant, nurturing, eager to please middle child (Idina Menzel), and the baby creative girl.

While there's always universality to leaving the nest, these folks and some of their rhetorical arguments seem a bit out-dated, more like boomers, as if some contemporary references are thrown in for hasty contemporaneity. At one point "Sarabeth"s accused of being "too '90's," but she really sounds more '70's as she criticizes her mother for staying at home raising kids. These twentysomethings don't even seem to e-mail, listen to Ipods, or use cell phones.

I'm not sure the chronology works out about the relatives she's named for who died in the Holocaust, but the stories she has grown up with about them through her immigrant father (a charming Ronald Guttman who can quote Jewish sages such as Kafka or Hillel or Woody Allen as needed) and her ongoing connection to them is very moving, especially --very unusually for films--as she learns to embrace her heritage rather than reject it as she works hard to find her own artistic voice and style. Smoothly incorporated into the story, the scenes with NYC's gay synagogue are very contemporary and a nice counterpoint to most films by showing the potential for progressive, inclusionary Judaism as an alternative.

For a small indie film without a budget for pop tunes, the music by David Shire is lovely.

Even as we start to tear up a bit at her unpredictable choices, we root for Sokoloff's "Sarabeth".

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
IDINA MENZEL!!! ugogirl592
DVD + Other Questions shaktideb
Is This Movie Out? notthatgirl88
Who saw it? jec76
plot? gschoonmaker
Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival at the Gershman Y mbus55
Discuss The Tollbooth (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: