Leo Spivak is drifting through life without a compass. His father is aging fast, his teenage daughter is rebelling, his protégé is after his job and his wife is losing her patience. A twist... See full summary »
Leo Spivak is drifting through life without a compass. His father is aging fast, his teenage daughter is rebelling, his protégé is after his job and his wife is losing her patience. A twist of fate and some bizarre wisdom from a "freelance rabbi" help Leo navigate the murky waters of his life and turn his crisis into a second-chance. Written by
Ardustry Home Entertainment LLC
First-time feature director Peter Riegert gathered a great ensemble cast for this combination of two short stories from Gerald Shapiros's wonderful book "Bad Jews" (recently featured in NPR interviews) about a middle-aged salesman and his family coping with aging parents, rebellious teens and former high school crushes from years past. Some of the products Leo (Riegert) does focus groups for are outrageous (a voice changer for phones that makes you sound like Gregory Peck, an alarm that scares off burglars with a pre-recorded family quarrel). His protege, Ed (Dustin Hoffman's son, Jake, described in the original screenplay as "looks like a young Dustin Hoffman" - what were the chances?) starts pushing for Leo's job while Leo's dad (Eli Wallach) steals scenes as a querulous curmudgeonly senior. Eric Bogosian is a welcome addition as a free-lance rabbi who makes Leo confront his father's legacy (best clerical scene-stealer since Rowan Atkinson in Four Weddings and a Funeral), and Mamma Mia! Rita Moreno, Isabella Rossellini and Beverly D'Angelo competing as "mature" sex symbols of the year! At today's Mill Valley Film Fest screening Peter said he'll open in NY & LA at least (March 2005)and build from there. A charming low-budget labor of love that may have to earn a reputation by word of mouth (unless someone from Miramax is paying attention- are you there, Harv?)...
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