Location: Charlotte, NC
If David had his druthers, our evenings would always consist of hanging out at home. He gets out and about more than your average couch potato, but it is almost always at my initiative. And I have to do extra cajoling to get my hubby to go to the movies. His response to one of my movie suggestions runs something like, “Now why would I want to pay money to see that?” He would far prefer to see one of his staples (and let the record reflect that he has warped our son into joining him in his fanaticism) like Animal House,Blazing Saddlesor Caddy Shack. So imagine my surprise when he suggested, on a day that we both flew home from our respective work trips and were only overlapping for the one night, that we head to the JCC last night for a viewing of Crossing Delanceyat the fall Jewish Film Festival.
We barely had time to unpack from our trips (I was flying home from speaking at a cancer event in Florida and David spent the weekend with his parents in Maryland after a meeting in Washington, DC) before heading out the door again. And I had to pack again since I took off early this morning to fly to Boston, get through a bunch of emails from my college-bound clients and, oh yeah, eat dinner. We were tempted to bag it and go out for a leisurely meal instead. But I want to encourage this initiative on David’s part (who knows where it could lead? Perhaps a weekend watching every rendition ofPride and Prejudice!) and I remember loving Crossing Delancey, so we swung by Jimmy John’s to get subs to sneak in with us and drove up just as the movie was about to start.
It turns out our last-minute timing was incredibly fortuitous because we walked in at the exact moment that Peter Riegert arrived. As in the star of Crossing Delancey, who was flown in as a special guest to discuss the movie and take questions from the audience. As in the guy who also happened to star in a little movie called Animal Housebefore he played a pickle salesman in the sweet romcom that had me wishing that I had a matchmaking bubbe. We held the door for him and chatted with him as we walked through the JCC to where the film was being screened. Afterwards, he took questions from the audience and regaled us with stories of making both movies, his Jewish upbringing (he warmed my heart by describing himself as an atheist whose Jewishness is derived from chicken fat) and what it was like to transition from acting to directing.
We learned that the vibe of filming Animal Housewas exactly like what took place on screen. They had seven weeks of frat-like antics and had no idea the movie would be a success. He told us that Amy Irving’s marriage to Steven Speilberg at the time helped get the sweet Jewish love story in Crossing Delanceyon Warner Brother’s radar. And the audience questions were fun and enlightening too. One woman shared that she was a twenty-something New Yorker who saw the movie with her single women friends when it first came out in the late 80s and that seeing it was transformative in terms of their views on dating Jewish men. Peter (yes, we are now on a first name basis) told us that he was accosted for years by Bubbes and Jewish moms looking to set him up with their daughters.
But most importantly we learned that when your hubby uncharacteristically takes over your social calendar, you go for it. And when you see a sweet albeit dated romcom about trusting your heart and finding love, you get to feel good about the fact that the real-life version has a happy ending too.