I love food movies. Like Water for Chocolate? Hot. Eat Drink, Man Woman? Steamy. Mostly Martha? Phenomenal. Chocolat? Luscious. Big Night? Huge. But you know what occurs to me? There are no movies about Jewish food. Italian food, Chinese food, French food, yes. Mostly Martha is about a German woman, for God’s sake. But I have yet to see a movie about Jews and their food fetish.
And isn’t that weird? Have you ever been at a Jewish event that wasn’t smothered in bagels and matzah balls or their ilk? The way Jews all over the world obsess about food, it seems rife with cinematic possibilities. Okay, so maybe the making of gefilte fish isn’t going to look particularly awesome when shown on a screen the size of my house, but a nice golden kugel? A platter full of stuffed grape leaves? A tray of buttery and crispy borekas? That would make for an amazing spread on the big screen.
Okay, here’s the pitch: We’re in Israel. Dalia is an attractive but sharp-tongued daughter of a Ashkenazi Modern Orthodox rabbi. She spends her days learning in a seminary, but she’d rather be making challah with her mother, and teaching her sisters how to make matzah balls. Uri is an attractive Hesder student at a yeshiva near Jerusalem who comes from a traditional Yemenite family. One weekend he comes home to visit his family who have a falafel stand in the shuk, and Dalia walks in to buyâ€¦something.
They meet and fall in love over some hummus, but have to find a way to bring their varied backgrounds and food traditions into harmony. At one point there’s a hot make out session where she’s pushed against the wall next to the wood burning oven that’s used to make pita. The movie ends with their delicious wedding feast. Subplot: argument in shuk about who makes the best hummus gets political.
This would be good, right? Any other ideas for Jewish food movies that should be made?
Pronounced: AHSH-ken-AH-zee, Origin: Hebrew, Jews of Central and Eastern European origin.
Pronounced: KHAH-luh, Origin: Hebrew, ceremonial bread eaten on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.
Pronounced: yuh-SHEE-vuh or yeh-shee-VAH, Origin: Hebrew, a traditional religious school, where students mainly study Jewish texts.