Celebrity Jews: At the Movies and TV/Streaming Catch Up
AT THE MOVIES
Opening Oct. 19:
The original Halloween (1978) movie starred Jamie Lee Curtis, now 58, as Laurie Strode, the only survivor of a killing spree by Michael Myers, a mental patient who stalked Strode. The original was a hit and it spawned 11 sequels and re-makes. The “new” Halloween movie (called Halloween) again stars Curtis — this is the fourth Halloween movie she has appeared in as Strode. The advance publicity says the new film will be “the final confrontation” between Strode and Myers.
The Oath is a searing political comedy that was written by, directed by and stars Ike Barinholtz, 41. Chris (Barinholtz) is a political progressive who is outraged when he learns that Americans are being asked to sign a loyalty oath or lose tax credits. The deadline to sign the oath coincides with a family Thanksgiving meal that Chris and his wife, Kai (Tiffany Haddish, 38) are set to host. Chris and his relatives, some conservative, agree in advance that there will be no politics discussed during the Thanksgiving meal. But that pact quickly frays and completely breaks down when two government agents come to Chris’ door.
Co-stars include Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, the band Sleater-Kinney), 44, as Alice, Chris’ lefty sister.
Haddish has emerged as a big star following the release of the hit film Girls Trip (2017). Her late mother was African American and her father, whom she got to know a few years before his recent death, was from an Eritrean Jewish family. My sense is that Haddish is secular. But it’s nice to note that as the news of her exotic Jewish roots has spread out she is being embraced by much of the Jewish community. Mayim Bialik, 42, invited her, online, to celebrate Passover (2018) at her home. (No word whether Haddish accepted.)
TV/STREAMING CATCH UP
Now streaming on Netflix is the critically acclaimed original film Private Life. Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn co-star as a middle-aged couple desperately hoping to have a child. The film was written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, 56. Jenkins, who was raised by her Jewish father, chronicled her chaotic, but loving childhood in the terrific film Slums of Beverly Hills (1998). By the way, both Giamatti and Hahn have Jewish spouses — Giamatti and his wife are raising their child Jewish. Not sure about Hahn.
Camping is a comedy that started on Oct. 14 on HBO. It follows a married couple (played by David Tennant and Jennifer Garner) who have issues — issues that come to a head during a camping trip. Based on a Brit TV series, the American version is written and produced by Lena Dunham (Girls), 32, and Jenni Konner (Girls), 47. Series regulars include Brett Gelman, 41, and Ione Skye, 47.
Remember Skye from the ’80s romantic classic Say Anything? It had the iconic scene in which a high school senior (John Cusack) held up a boom-box that played a love song under the window of a classmate (Skye) he was courting. Skye’s father is Donovan (“Mellow Yellow”), the famous ’60s Scottish folk rocker. Her mother, who raised her alone, is an American Jew. Skye has been married to rock musician Ben Lee, 40, since 2008.