7.1/10
2,264
16 user 1 critic

Loving Leah (2009)

TV-PG | | Drama, Romance | TV Movie 25 January 2009
A quirky love story revolving around the unexpected wedding and unconventional married life of a 26-year-old widow and her late husband's brother, a handsome 30-year-old cardiologist.

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4,352 ( 27)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Raj
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Storyline

When his estranged brother dies suddenly, Jake Lever is confronted with an old Jewish custom. In days past, a man was expected to marry his deceased brother's childless widow, but it is now customary to perform a ceremony releasing the pair from the obligation. During the Halizah ceremony, Jake feels uncomfortable renouncing his brother's memory. Additionally, Leah wishes to escape the confines of her orthodox community and avoid her mother's matchmaking. On the spur of the moment, Leah and Jake decide to enter into a platonic marriage of convenience. Written by L. Hamre

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Loving Leah episode #58.2  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the Old Testament, Leah was the patient first wife of Jacob, the mother of one daughter, Dinah, and six sons including Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, and is considered one of the most important biblical matriarchs. See more »

Goofs

A sign outside the Reform synagogue says that the rabbi's name is Gerry, so there's no expectation that the synagogue will turn out to have a female rabbi. However, for Leah's mother, a glance at the synagogue's sign is enough to reveal that the rabbi is a woman. See more »

Connections

References The Way We Were (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything
Written by Michael Bublé, Amy Foster-Gillies, and Alan Chang
Performed by Michael Bublé
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User Reviews

 
Give them credit for originality and good research
4 August 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My wife and I are Orthodox Jews addicted to the Perry Mason of our childhood. We couldn't resist watching Hallmark's presentation of levirate marriage, or yibum, but never expected we could stomach more than 20 minutes of it.

The writers and directors certainly get credit for coming up with an original plot device to create romantic tension and resolution. This is Hallmark, after all, and we didn't expect all the dramatic unities to be observed, but we were pleased at the overall high quality of the research, writing and acting. There are Orthodox men who make a living outside the rabbinate, and non-Orthodox Jewish men who aren't cardiac surgeons, but avoiding these clichés might been too distracting.

The mystical / romantic motivation was never made quite reasonable, but much worse was the simple fact that marriages religious and secular require sexual consummation in order to be valid. The whole point of yibum is that the wife should get pregnant with her brother-in-law's child and therefore continue her dead husband's family and name. Such a beginning would have ruined the plot and perhaps run afoul of Hallmark's standards and practices.

One may quibble about this or that presentation of Jewish religious practice, but on the whole this movie did a good and conscientious job with remarkable few cringe-inducing mistakes. In the end it worked as a romantic comedy/drama which held our attention to the end.


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