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When Do We Eat? (2005)

Cast: Michael Lerner, Michael Lerner, Lesley Ann Warren, more...
Director: Salvador Litvak, Salvador Litvak
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Rating:
Studio: Hart Sharp Video
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Farce, Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 93 min.
Languages: English
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Synopsis
An old-fashioned Jewish father vows to bring his stubborn family together after being slipped a dose of ecstasy during the annual Passover celebration in director Salvador Litvak's psychedelic Seder comedy. Family patriarch Ira Stuckman (Michael Lerner) has taken a few tips from his hard-nosed father, Arthur (Jack Klugman), when it comes to matters of the family. A strict disciplinarian with little tolerance for tomfoolery, stubborn Ira is insistent that the whole family come together for the Seder feast despite their lingering disagreements. When Ira's son, Zeke (Ben Feldman), drops a hit of ecstasy into his father's meal in hopes of opening the old man's eyes up to a "new perspective," the once curmudgeonly father turns suddenly touchy-feely before insisting upon on ushering in a new era of forgiveness among the notoriously disagreeable clan. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Yummy! by talltale September 19, 2006 - 8:39 PM PDT
12345678910
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Yes, WHEN DO WE EAT? deals in stereotypes and clichés and will definitely offend some fundamentalists of the Jewish faith (most others, too, I'll bet). But stick with it, I say, because it is finally heartfelt and genuine often enough to counter many of your misgivings. And for every misstep, it hits its targets twice over. The cast that co-writer (with Nina Davidovich) and director Salvador Litvak have assembled does a wonderful job of nailing each character and letting us laugh with and/or at them while understanding each quite well. Michael Lerner is the center with the most to do here, but Lesley Ann Warren has rarely looked lovelier nor been more appealing, and a word must be said for Cynda Williams (a "prize" since Carl Franklin's "One False Move"), whose few moments of turning the Seder into a Black experience is perhaps THE highlight of the film.

This is one of those movies, given the amount of awful reviews, that I was studiously avoiding--until a neighbor suggested I see it. Because I enjoyed it so much, I went to the Rotten Tomatoes web site and read many of those reviews in full. The biggest problem appears to be the perceived lack of respect reviewers feel the writer/director has for Passover Seder. Nonsense. Litvak and his cast have respect for humanity and family and refuse to let tradition trump these more important issues. Litvak could be a bit less crass now and then, but that's often part of the fun: Give the guy credit for taking the plunge and swimming the length. He's got energy, wit and joie de vivre, and I'll bet this movie will energize you in the same way it appears to have lit up its lovely cast.




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