Keeping Up with the Steins (Jeremy Piven, Jami Gertz, Garry Marshall, Doris Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Richard Benjamin, Sheryl Hines) – You don’t have to be Jewish to love this movie … but it helps. A funny, heartwarming, coming-of-age relationship movie, this film takes well-known second bananas and follows the preparation for the Bar Mitzvah of a child-man (played by Daryl Sabara). The movie is more about the relationship between his agent-father Adam Fiedler, played perfectly by the underrated Piven (who actually went to Drake University in beautiful Des Moines), and all of the major characters: his hippie father (Marshall) who abandoned the family years ago, his yenta-of-a-mother (Roberts), his devoted wife (Gertz), and his rival neighbor (Arnie Stein as played by character actor, Larry Miller). If you know the dynamics of a Jewish family, the movie will feel familiar. And if you can possibly understand the rivalry among the rich and famous, you’ll realize how quickly that the Bar Mitzvah becomes secondary to the social event. The actors are a marvelous ensemble that understands their characters even though few of them are actually Jewish. Directed by Garry Marshall’s son, Scott, this “small” movie is a must see even if you’re not Jewish, but it’s more fun if you are.
- Lady in the Water