Monday, January 25, 2016

Jewtopia (2012)

Number Rolled: 90
Movie Name/Year: Jewtopia (2012)
Tagline: The story of a gentile who wants to marry a Jewish girl... so he'll never have to make another decision.
Genre: Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production Companies: Cinedigm, Quartz Films, Oops Doughnuts Productions, Tooley Productions, Alex Productions, Ministry of Content, Zjisa Productions
Producer: Andy Fickman, Bryan Fogel, David Fogel, Linda Fogel, Pavlina Hatoupis, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dan Keston, Courtney Mizel, P.C. Mizel, Joel David Moore, J.B. Popplewell, Scott Prisand, Paris G. Reese III, Tucker Tooley, Matt Weaver, Christopher Wilhem, Sam Wolfson
Director: Bryan Fogel
Writer: Bryan Fogel, Sam Wolfson
Actors: Austin Abrams, Tom Arnold, Brennan Bailey, Wilmer Calderon, Joe Childs, Cheryl Daro, Cheryl David, Neil Dickson, Conor Dubin, Tom Fitzpatrick, Rachel G. Fox, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christine Lakin, Jon Lovitz, Hayes MacArthur, Wendie Malick, Rolando Molina, Joel David Moore, Crystal Reed, Ivan Sergei, Lin Shaye, Nicollette Sheridan, Peter Stormare, Elaine Tan, Bree Turner, Rita Wilson

Blurb from Netflix: When a would-be suitor enlists his friend’s help in pretending to be Jewish so that a Jewish girl will date him, cultures collide and chaos ensues.

Selina’s Point of View:
Jewtopia was…. interesting.

I don’t identify as Jewish, but that’s how I was raised. I went to a Jewish summer camp every year where I learned a little about the religion and some Hebrew. I attend Passover and Shabbat dinners with a close friend of mine that’s no longer in my life. I didn’t attend religious services, though. I’m Jewish enough to be able to make that throat sound when I speak Hebrew, but not Jewish enough to know what that throat sound is called.

Maybe it’s because of how I was raised, but I definitely felt that this film went very close to that religiously inappropriate line. I, personally, don’t get offended very easily. I laughed at a lot of the jokes I probably shouldn’t have laughed at. I just want to make sure that the people who might be more sensitive about the subject of religion know that this movie isn’t for them.

I found a lot of the film hilarious. Especially those deep stereotypes that I recognize from my family or other people I know. The plot was a little on the muddled and disappointing side and the ending was absolutely terrible, but it wasn’t all bad.

I wasn’t a fan of most of the acting, though. Jon Lovitz (The Ridiculous 6, Mr. Box Office, A League of Their Own) being one of the exceptions. Lovitz makes an exceptional Jewish dad and that voice is so soothing…. Ok… not really about the voice. The rest of that was true though.

In the end, I don’t think the film was all that amazing, but the ride was amusing at the very least.

I’d like to remind readers: If you are easily offended, this is not the film for you. Just move along. Nothing to see here.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m not so sure that I liked this movie.

It wasn’t horrible, per se, and I did laugh a lot – I just couldn’t quite “get into it.” Of course, I think a big part of my disconnect was the total predictability of how things would go. I also really disliked the ending.

I was raised Catholic, though I have had Jewish friends. I’ve even attended a bar mitzvah. I can’t say that I understood all of the references in the movie, but I did catch a lot of them. My laughter in places was paired with a considerable amount of face-palming. 

This is definitely not a movie to watch with anyone easily offended; and there is a good amount of explicit material. I'd recommend steering small children or anyone opposed to R-Rated movies away from this one.

I could relate a little with the main character, though. When I was in high school, I was informed after one really fun date that his parents wouldn’t let him see me anymore due to our religious background differences. (He was a Jehovah’s Witness.)

Moving along - the family dynamics were way over the top. I would hazard a guess that it was just for further comedic factor; though, they really could have dialed it back just a little and still hit that mark. 

Some of the casting choices were interesting. Normally, Jon Lovitz (The Producers, A Mouse Tale, The Ridiculous 6) drives me bananas. Something about him just tends to rub my nerves wrong. I’m not sure if it’s the nasal quality of his voice or the types of roles he usually plays. He’s just not a favorite. However, he managed to not annoy me with his screen time in this movie.  

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lin Shaye (Killer By Nature, Chillerama, Ouija) in this one. She’s a very busy lady. I counted twelve pending projects listed in IMDb. 

Even though I don’t believe I’d watch this movie again, it was at least entertaining.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 27%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. Extra scene during the credits.

Movie Trailer: 

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