Saw a couple of thoroughly Jmerican movies from the comfort of the sofa over the weekend. First was It Runs In the Family, a nepotistic family comedy starring Kirk Douglas (post-stroke but still funny and dignified) as the aging patriarch of a Jewish family (not the religious kind, the New York-bagelly kind.) His real son, Michael Douglas, plays the screen son, a the bleeding heart liberal in lawyer’s clothing (who, we must say, still looks pretty fine for a man in his 60’s.) Topping off this Jewish royalty extravaganza is Michael’s son Cameron, who spins a spot-on caricature of a Trustafarian stoner boy. Kirk’s ex-wife, Michael’s mother and Cameron’s bubbe plays the graceful matriarch and the totally unrelated, unJewish but completely fabulous Bernadette Peters is the lawyer’s wife. The plot is a bit corny, but the bits between the characters made us plotz.
Muchas gracias to Boy Genius Julio, who pointed us to The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob. Elastic-faced Louis de Funes stars as a bigoted businessman who gets kidnapped by a Third World revolutionary; pandemonium ensues as they disguise themselves as chasidim and are mistaken for visiting rabbis. We forgive it for being French, rather unpolitically correct and set in the 70’s, because it’s ridiculously funny in a Robert Benigni way– with a dash of Herbie the Lovebug thrown in.