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This is the tale of Suzie Gold, a 20 something Jewish girl in North
The film takes place in the months leading up to her sister's wedding to a
nice Jewish boy. Her family are semi-orthodox, but have traditional views
far as marrying out of the faith. Suzie falls for a non-Jewish guy called
Darren. However she cannot introduce Darren to her family because of their
I and my partner are both Jewish. When we saw the film at the local cinema I suspect that most of the audience were Jewish. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but my girlfriend hated it thinking it was too stereotypical. To me the film reminded me a little of the excellent TV play The Barmitzvah Boy, and it had a stronger and more believable story than the other Jewish film of recent years, Leon The Pig Farmer.
I thought Summer Phoenix put in a very convincing performance as Suzie Gold - her North London accent was good enough to fool me, and the film was very entertaining.
This is quite an entertaining little film, very much in the vein of 'My
Fat Greek Wedding'. Like that hit movie, it deals with family and cultural
expectations when it comes to marriage. Summer Phoenix stars as Suzie
a true romantic who wants to marry for love rather than
I laughed a lot at the start of the film. A fine ensemble cast includes Miriam Karlin, Frances Barber and Stanley Townsend.
What lets the film down, in my opinion, is the total lack of chemistry between Ms Phoenix and Leo Gregory as Darren, the love of Suzie's life. You just don't believe that these two are crazy about each other which is a shame as it's otherwise quite fun.
I was intrigued by the synopsis and bought the film on video for a £1. It was well worth the spend and my wife and I enjoyed watching it. We have had some exposure to the North London Jewish community, having attended several weddings and various other functions and although we didn't recognise the over-the-top histrionics of Suzie Gold's mother, most of the film was a reasonably accurate portrayal of the milieu. Rebecca Green's script was very good. The treatment of Suzie's on-off- relationship with a non-Jewish boyfriend is apparently superficial but it dealt with a difficult subject generously. Generally, the film pokes glancing fun at the community, such that whilst not holding it up to ridicule, it nevertheless shines light on aspects of Jewish life that non-Jews might find both revealing and interesting. I thought the ending was clichéd and lacked originality - it showed, more than anything else in the film,the weaknesses of the script and direction, but who cares? It was a bit of froth and everyone will recognise the homage paid to other films with greater merit.
I actually quite liked this film. It wasn't so over the top like "My
big fat Greek wedding" a little less subtle in its approach . Yes,
there are some stereotypes, but they keep the audience engaged and
Summer Phoenixs' performance as the title character is incredibly impressive. Her accent is believable and she manages to pull of a few laughs as her character does, at times, make a fool of herself. This lovelorn character narrates the film connecting her even more with the audience and explaining some of the Jewish rituals.
A enjoyable film, even for those who aren't Jewish.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
i had to fight the temptation of giving it a 10 just to see the avrg go
up...gave it a 7 - good film - sweet and deep at the same time.
what's with all the rubbish about stereotype? it's a comedy! except for the boring anthony. if anthony was more normal, that'd've been a great touch as she'd have had to choose between love and 'absence of love' in every way.
what's best about suzie gold is - it puts so much importance on her 'identity' -something she couldn't walk away from....at the same time they showed the importance of loving ur heritage and following ur heart.
another, bit less good film is sabah. try to catch that too.
This is very much a smilar story to 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', but
nevertheless was very fun to watch. There was great chemistry between the
actors and even though it was very funny I have to say I do prefer 'My Big
Fat Greek Wedding'. That is just a classic!
It revolves aroung a young Jewish girl who, like 'Toula Portakalos', wants to marry for love. It will have you laughing, I have to say, and I think us brits have done a good job in making the film. It is almost as good.
This will have many nominations for awards in my opinion, but the letdown was actually the lack of chemistry between the two main actors, but all in all, very enjoyable. :)
Happened upon this film late one night on the TV, when I might have been a tad pickled. I wasn't expecting too much but I thought I would give it 20 minutes or so before retiring to bed. Before I knew it, I was hooked, I was genuinely interested in what was going to happen to the main characters. Granted, it was riddled with stereotypes and clichés but enjoyable all the same. There was a time when I would never have showed my emotions openly but I cried three times during this film. I found it to be a sympathetic portrayal of the difficulties of living and working in a multicultural society when your parents, their parents and your 'community' expect you to behave in a certain way and to follow a path that does not deviate from the norm. I found redeeming features in all of the characters and although the film poked fun at some of their habits and actions, I thought it was done with affection rather than malice.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some comments on this film have been unfair, I think. It is not simply
a transposition of the Big Fat Greek Wedding plot to Jewish London,
although there are considerable similarities. There was a greater
seriousness in elements such as the heroine's relationship with her
grandmother, her feelings about the heavily traditional Jewish culture
in which she has grown up, and her attempt to fit in with cultural
expectations of her, reaching the point of what has to be one of the
crassest ways to propose (by the "wrong man") ever shown on film.
In some ways it had more in common with Kissing Jessica Stein, but I cared a lot more about the characters in that, I have to say. I could not warm to the non-Jewish boyfriend, and many of the characters did not really come alive, though the repeatedly volcanic mother and the understated but ultimately forceful father were well played. Summer Phoenix certainly did a good job of playing the heroine, sounding as much of a Londoner as any of them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Suzie Gold is certainly a niche film, the antics of a typical upper middle class Jewish family in Great Britain, but could just as well have been cast in the United States, or any country in Europe. Suzie Gold is certainly cliché, the overbearing Jewish mother, the passive Jewish father, the Jewish Princess daughter, and the whole social climbing Jewish social scene. The dialog was priceless, and very very accurate for that Jewish social group. The attitude towards the Jewish religion, that is, stylish, flexible, and comical, even though pretty much true to life, still bordered on kitsch. Summer Phoenix, not being Jewish, still did a great job in what was probably a very difficult role. The only trouble was that being a shiksa, she tended to act like one. I could personally relate to this film, the characters were really taken from real life, the situations were entirely believable, and conversations were the sort I have actually been involved in. And the dilemmas, that is, a younger daughter marrying before her desperate older sister, intermarriage, the whole Jewish mother shtick, the Jewish mother in law shtick, the Jewish daughter as princess, and the Jewish son as prince, they all rang very true, sadly in the case of the character of Anthony. I do doubt that non Jews would find this movie to be very entertaining, except in an exotic sense, or as a short look into a reality of a small part of the sometimes odd Jewish world. But then I felt that this was a movie made by Jews and for Jews, thus it would be understood and be entertaining only for Jews, and only for those Jews who can stand outside our own social, religious, communal, and ethnic scene, and laugh at and cry at our own foibles. I felt that Suzie Gold was overall a very sweet film.
_Suzie Gold_ takes the first act from _Fiddler on the Roof_, stirs in a
little _Pride and Prejudice_, and tries to update this blend for 2004.
While the Jewish traditions, and anxieties, have survived intact into
the new millennium, the chief innovation for the young seems to be
four-letter words. And while the plot revolves around the dilemma of
"marrying out" (outside of the Jewish faith), it isn't clear why any of
these nice Jewish girls should care about marriage, since they all are
ready to sleep with their boyfriends, whether likable or not. This
ribald caricature will prevent this film from matching the wide
popularity of _Greek Wedding_, which is too bad.
If you can overlook these contradictions, the portrayals are charming, the ladies handsome, and the ancient faith is shown to be alive and well. Mom, Dad, and Grandma all come through for the perplexed little Suzie, although she does what she wants instead of what they would think she ought. Suzie's father is such a warm and wise fellow, that he could singlehandedly carry the story, and he indeed must ultimately make the right call for his little girl. The film is entertaining, but not because anything is really resolved in the end (and the plot is as old as storytelling itself), but rather because the people and events are fun to watch, and a few are worth emulating.
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