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José Antonio de la Loma
Lee Van Cleef,
A Jewish man who owns a Brooklyn deli asks his domineering uncle for a loan so he can buy his dream restaurant in Manhattan, but the uncle demands that he give up his Gentile girlfriend even though she's one of the few sources of stability in his somewhat chaotic life.Written by
Determined Copy Editor
I accidentally watched this on TV the other day while I was in the kitchen cooking and all I could think of the whole time was "how in the hell did Elliot Gould ever become a popular actor?" He has no charisma, is not good-looking, is un-funny in the extreme and, sorry, his success seems to prove the old adage that those of the Judaic faith run Hollywood. There is just no other explanation for this rotten, rotten, rotten movie, its insular context and endless slew of Jewish in- jokes. I read the reviews above and gather that some other sons of Abraham enjoyed the film because it reminded them of their own families. Well good for you, but doesn't change the fact that the movie stinks to high heaven. I actually went to a Jewish high school and so I got many of the "jokes" - they still weren't funny.
First of all, both he and Margaux Hemingway were extremely long in the tooth to be believable as a star-crossed couple kept apart by meddling relatives. He was 46 when he made this film and though Marguax was 16 years his junior (typical Hollywood disgusting age discrepancy favouring the man) she looks frumpy and tired in this role. She also shpeaks with a weird teeth-shucking shound that is very dishtracting and the horrendous script is rendered even more ludicrous by her line delivery. I am amazed by the person who stated above that she was a great actress. (Not sure how to type that sound Scooby Doo makes when baffled, but please imagine it here.) Even so, Hemingway is a million times more desirable and charming than Gould's "Alby" and so, yawn, this film falls squarely in the category of wish-fulfillment fantasies, written by, directed by and starring shlumpy, unattractive males who are inexplicably the objects of desire for rapacious, insatiable, nymphomaniac, and much better-looking females. There are a LOT of films in this category (many of them by Woody Allen) and I hate all of them.
When was the last time you saw a movie about an overweight middle- aged woman wearing horrible clothes who has to beat off the attentions of some hot young guy? Or how about the one about a shy inexperienced nerdy female teen who is won over by the school hunk, who always saw her inner beauty? What's that...never? Correct! It's not weird when you read the credits and realize who is writing/directing/producing these movies. Hint: it's not middle-aged women.
Poor Carol Kane did her best with the insane material, I guess, but I was literally agog watching her slither around like a pussycat in the seduction scene. WTF??? It made no sense whatsoever and most importantly, wasn't in the least bit funny. Gould just sat there like he was on 20 mg of Valium and gave her zero, nada, zilch to work with. To say she was chewing the scenery would be a massive understatement.
I won't reveal what happens in the end because a) it doesn't matter and b) see a.
I am flabbergasted that this film was ever made, am not at all surprised that it was a box office dodo and fervently wish that all copies of it could be destroyed so no one ever has to see it again. EVER!
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