Tuesday, June 02, 2009

5/27/09: Crossing Delancey (1988)

Interesting but inadvertent sequencing: We followed up two comedy-Westerns with two charming romantic comedies. Peter Riegert (one of the best parts of National Lampoon's Animal House) and Amy Irving play two Jewish singles set up by a modern-day matchmaker in Manhattan and slowly—painfully slowly—start a romance. But the anticipation is mouth-watering.

Irving, looking dreamier than I've ever seen her, initially spurns pickle seller Riegert in favor for a more "intellectual" writer, but ultimately realizes she's thrown back the wrong fish. It's hard to figure out why; the viewer senses that the writer is a first-class creep and that Riegert is the far more sensible choice 20 minutes into the picture.

It's always a delight to come across a genuinely smart, funny and romantic comedy like this one. This was the only screen credit of legendary Yiddish stage actress Reizl Bozyk, who is very amusing as Irving's grandmother. And I wondered if film recommender Merf realizes that the music group The Roches, whom I keep foisting upon her, sang all of the songs in the movie, including the oft-played cover of "Come Softly to Me"—and that vocalist Suzzy Roche plays the friend of Irving's whom she introduces to Riegert, with disastrous results. In any case, Delancey is delicious. Rating: 5/5.

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