Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jewtopia, the Movie... Seriously!

BACK IN DECEMBER 2006 I had the chance to see the Off-Broadway show “Jewtopia” in New York City. I had already read Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson's book Jewtopia and recall thinking before the show began, "How did that book ever get made into an Off-Broadway show?"

Well, now "Jewtopia" the movie is about to be released and I'm thinking to myself, "How did that Off-Broadway show get made into a movie?" But having watched the trailer (below) I must say that this might just be a decent movie. The cast is an impressive one with Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Nicollette Sheridan, Rita Wilson, and Jon Lovitz. Tom Arnold is in it too (he's still acting?), but let's not hold that against it quite yet.

The movie was screened at the Newport Beach International Film Festival back in April 2012 and then a year ago at the Malibu International Film Festival. It's set to release in the U.S. next week right in the middle of the Sukkot holiday.

The story line seems to stick pretty closely to the stage version. In "Jewtopia," Christian O’Connell (Ivan Sergei) has met the girl of his dreams in Alison Marks (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Unfortunately, Christian told Alison (who happens to be a rabbi’s daughter) that his name was Avi Rosenberg, and that he was Jewish- neither of which are true.

With Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson of Jewtopia in NYC in December 2006
Desperate to keep up the illusion, he turns to his childhood best friend, Adam Lipschitz (Joel David Moore) to teach him how to “act Jewish.”  But Adam has problems of his own, with a fiancĂ© (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) pushing him closer to a mental breakdown as their wedding approaches.

With the best intentions, Adam and Christian attempt to help each other out, but things quickly go completely and hilariously off the rails in this outrageous all-star comedy from the creators of the original hit international play seen by millions.

I must say that this silly little idea these two Jewish guys had has really turned into something big. So kudos to Sam Wolfson and Bryan Fogel on what has become a whole Jewtopian enterprise.

Here's the trailer:

Rabbi Jason Miller is the co-founder of the PopJewish blog and a Conservative rabbi. He's an entrepreneur, blogger and Rabbi Without Borders. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiJason.