Hollywood Celebrity Jews, Movies and Netflix
AT THE MOVIES
Opens Friday, Aug. 3: The Spy Who Dumped Me is an action/thriller and a comedy. Audrey (Mila Kunis, 34) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon) are best friends and roommates. Audrey has a bad break-up with her boyfriend (Justin Theroux) and then he completely disappears. He unexpectedly shows up at Audrey’s apartment and it’s revealed he’s a spy with assassins on his trail. The ladies are drawn into this spy game. This takes them to Europe, where they are chased by nasty guys. If they figure it all out, and stay alive, they just may save the world.
The film was directed and co-written by Susanna Fogel, 38. She’s a regular New Yorker contributor and the author of the novel Nuclear Family, about a Jewish family. This is her first big studio film. She co-wrote and directed the good indie film Life Partners (2014), about two female friends whose relationship changes when one gets a serious boyfriend (Adam Brody).
Fogel told Entertainment Weekly that she first signed McKinnon, but had to meet with Kunis before signing her — she had to be sure that Kunis would have chemistry with McKinnon. She told EW: “Once I sat down with Mila I learned that she was a warm, funny, down-to-Earth person, just like Kate.”
COULD BE FUN
Like Father is a comedy that begins streaming on Netflix on Aug. 3. Huntington Woods-native Kristen Bell plays Rachel, who is left standing at the wedding altar by her fiancé. Her father (Kelsey Grammar), whom she’s not seen since she was a small child, shows up for the wedding, uninvited. They get really drunk together and decide to take her pre-paid honeymoon cruise together.
Seth Rogen, 36, co-stars as a nice guy Rachel meets on the cruise ship and gradually sparks fly. The film was directed and written by Seth’s wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, 35. Ms. Rogen has had smallish acting parts in a number of films, including several starring her husband. The only full-length feature she co-starred in (and co-wrote) was the 2012 comedy For a Good Time Call, which I found to be formulaic and not very funny. I’m hoping Like Father is much better.
HE’S PROBABLY GOT THE BARISTA VOTE
More than rumors are flying that Howard Schultz, 67, the recently retired head of Starbucks, and a Northern Michigan University grad, is considering a presidential run. Last month, he indicated he was considering the idea in a CNBC interview. This interview led to a spate of articles, including a July 13 piece in Vanity Fair, in which it was noted that Starbucks investors were worried that a Schultz run could result in a boycott of the chain by Trump supporters.
I was struck by the opening of the Vanity Fair story, which listed a group of “centrist billionaires” who rumors say might run for president. Vanity Fair didn’t mention this, but all but one are Jewish (former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, 76; Disney head Bob Iger, 67, Citibank honcho Jamie Dimon, and reality TV star/entrepreneur Marc Cuban, 59.)
Schultz probably has a political leg up on these guys because he came from a really poor family and there is no Wall Street, Hollywood or high-tech hocus-pocus about how he made his money. Plus, Jimmy Fallon gave him a campaign slogan in a recent monologue: “Make Americano Great Again.”