Jewtopia

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Jewtopia Movie Poster Image
Crass comedy relies on stereotypes and profanity.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 90 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Stereotypes abound and are presented as facts without real exploration. You'll never be happy if you make choices about your own life based on what others want.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All characters are stereotypes and behave accordingly.

Violence

The animated title sequence shows an impaling, but there's no blood or gore.

Sex

Circumcision jokes include crotch grabbing and tapping; "smegma" is mentioned. An animated demonstration of circumcision shows full male genitalia in detail. Frank discussion among adults includes "going down on" a partner and the question, "Why aren't you hard yet?" A running gag involves a woman contemplating vaginoplasty, and many "after" examples are shown. A man imitates sex on an inflatable dolphin. A woman says she's not wearing anything under her graduation gown. A scene takes place in a strip club; pole dancing and lap dancing are shown without nudity. A man and woman have sex under a blanket. A few brief kisses. One make-out session shows the grabbing of a man's crotch outside clothing.

Language

Most frequent: "F--k" and variations, "s--t" and variations, "vag" as short for "vagina." Two or three times each: "bitch," "crap," "damn," "douche," and "p---y,"  Once or twice: "hell," "schlong," "t-ts." Strong language in Spanish includes "pendejo," "puta," and "cabron." "Booty" many times. Middle-finger gesture once. "Shvartze" used to stereotype African-American jazz musicians. Potty humor includes flinging feces, and crass bathroom noises heard outside a stall.

Consumerism

Characters mention Anne Klein, AT&T, and Volvo. Product placement includes Michelob and Volvo.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adult characters drink alcohol. Several scenes take place in bars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jewtopia presents cultural stereotypes as a given without real exploration or insight. Crass sexual humor and strong language (most frequently "f--k" and "s--t") make sure it has plenty of teen appeal, although even teens will quickly tire of the endless repetition. Main characters in their late 20s have frank discussions about sex, and both male and female genitalia are seen in illustration or animation. A few scenes take place in bars and adult characters occasionally drink beer.

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What's the story?

Christian (Ivan Sergei) wants to marry a Jewish girl because he never wants to have to decide anything for himself ever again. He meets and falls for Alison (Jennifer Love Hewitt), the rabbi's daughter, but his chances with her are slim to none because he isn't Jewish. Christian talks his childhood friend Adam (Joel David Moore) into helping him pass himself off as Jewish, going by the name Avi Rosenberg. Alison and her family start to notice things about "Avi" that don't quite add up. How far will he go to keep up the charade?

Is it any good?

JEWTOPIA strikes a single note, over and over. It takes a mildly amusing premise about cultural differences, exaggerates it until you want to squirm, and then derails it with crass sexual jokes and profanity. Humor that relies mostly on swear words and repeating body parts ad nauseum, especially "vagina," fail to cover up the lack of any real insight but guarantee appeal to the immature sense of humor. What little plot and characterization are present offer no surprise or insight, as they're mainly propelled by moving from cliché to stereotype and back again.

It was a somewhat successful play in the Los Angeles area first, which probably explains some of the surprises in the supporting cast (Rita Wilson? Really?). Some woeful miscasting aside -- Peter Storemare doesn't pull off an American accent -- they handle things about as well as you'd expect from the veterans. The lead love interests don't convey any real chemistry or seem like they quite believe what's happening to them. Pass.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotyping. If a group is stereotyping itself, does that make it OK? Why, or why not?

  • Do you have friends from ethnic or cultural backgrounds different from your own? What are some positive ways to explore differences or celebrate similarities?

  • Did any of the characters seem believable to you? Which ones, and what makes them believable or not?

Movie details

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