Here is a review of two different stories about Jewish people, families, love, and pickles. They are a recipe for love, food, and laughter.
I’ve seen 1988’s “Crossing Delancey” a number of times. It is sweet and funny. It involves a pickle maker/seller played by Peter Riegert who is interested in a book store worker played by Amy Irving. The story takes place in New York City and gives off vibes of closeness and Jewishness. I’ve probably watched “Crossing Delancey” ten times . . . perhaps more. I first saw Peter Riegert in “Animal House.” I don’t recall when I first saw Amy Irving, but was familiar with her work when I first saw “Crossing Delancey.”
In “Crossing Delancey” Isabelle Grossman, played by Irving, has plans and dreams that involve books and art. They certainly don’t include matchmaking with a pickle salesman. Her grandmother, Bubbie Kantor, played by Reizl Bozyk, steals the show as she maneuvers the two singles toward each other.
Watch the trailer for Crossing Delancey: imdb.com/video/vi2158215449
I watched 2016’s “The Pickle Recipe” because I gave up after checking out five or six other comedies. It held my attention and I liked the characters. Jon Dor plays Jo Jo, a one man wedding and bar mitzvah entertainer, whose last gig cost him every piece of equipment he had. He has zero hope of recouping his loss in time to host his daughter’s bat mitzvah. His uncle, played by David Paymer, offers him money to steal Jo Jo’s grandmother’s pickle recipe, which has a wide following at her deli in Detroit. Lynn Cohen plays the grandmother who has a very loyal crew working for her including a Black man, a Japanese man, and a Chinese woman. It was a foregone conclusion that the Chinese woman and Jo Jo would fall in love, but that’s a minor part of the film.
The grandmother is 85 and forgets her secret recipe for her famous pickles. Jo Jo tries everything to come up with the original pickle recipe. My favorite character is a friend of Jo Jo’s who pretends to be a rabbi to gain favor with the grandmother. Let’s just say he wasn’t cut out to be a rabbi.
Watch the trailer for The Pickle Recipe: imdb.com/video/vi3377706777
I loved the grandmothers in both films. You can guess the outcome of each, but it’s the journey that counts . . . well, that and good pickles.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.