Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Crossing Delancey"

I was very young when I first saw Crossing Delancey*. All I remembered as a kid was the closing scene, and that I was in love with Peter Riegert (I was heartbroken when he played a mistress-murdering attorney on Law & Order).
It was on recently, and figured I should throw it out there as a Shidduch Flick recommendation (Like Fill the Void, Arranged, and I guess Fiddler). 

I shopped around for others' takes; different reviewers walked away with different thoughts. What I concluded was "He's right. She's also right." 

Anywho, it's just a movie. One can see it as an admonishment to settle; others will see that it doesn't work to fight against your past; others will simply wait for Bubbie to talk. Her Yinglish is delicious. Those priceless Yiddish actors of once-upon-a-time are now extinct. 

The character of Izzy, the "older" single Jewish woman with Lower East Side roots who revels in her "classy" work involving pretentious literature (which the movie regularly lampoons), is infuriating in her wishy-washyness. Her one major plus is her devotion to her grandmother; she spends a lot of time with her. A lot of time. Like, the best granddaughter ever. They shop together, walk together, cook together. She even lovingly massages out the ravages of her Bubbie's arthritis. 

Since CD doesn't rush, one can see how Izzy's prejudices slowly unravel. For all her aspirations, she's not very secure, unlike Sam, her shidduch date. While she unfairly labels him as low-brow, he exudes cool confidence, knowledge, and kindness. He's even vulnerable with her, not fearing potential rejection (a BrenĂ© role model!) He knows who he is; she thinks she knows who she is (but doesn't). 

So I can't understand what it is about Izzy that draws Sam to her despite her repeated rebuffs. A man in possession of such self-worth wouldn't (at least shouldn't) take this.

The problem for me is, the moral of the story is to expand one's vision beyond the narrow (the title is from Sam's mashal of an anecdote). In other words, giving something a chance against one's personal judgement—which is what every single shadchan says to sell their idea. Yet I can't go out with all off-base suggestions, or else I'd go mad

Although, if someone insisted that they knew, for sure, that he was a mensch . . .

*While rated a decorous PG, there are scenes which are not for children or the prudish. It could very well receive the UA (un-aidel) rating established by Bad4.    

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