13 December 2004 | kinch
Fiddler on the Roof 2004
_Suzie Gold_ takes the first act from _Fiddler on the Roof_, stirs in a little _Pride and Prejudice_, and tries to update this blend for 2004. While the Jewish traditions, and anxieties, have survived intact into the new millennium, the chief innovation for the young seems to be four-letter words. And while the plot revolves around the dilemma of "marrying out" (outside of the Jewish faith), it isn't clear why any of these nice Jewish girls should care about marriage, since they all are ready to sleep with their boyfriends, whether likable or not. This ribald caricature will prevent this film from matching the wide popularity of _Greek Wedding_, which is too bad.
If you can overlook these contradictions, the portrayals are charming, the ladies handsome, and the ancient faith is shown to be alive and well. Mom, Dad, and Grandma all come through for the perplexed little Suzie, although she does what she wants instead of what they would think she ought. Suzie's father is such a warm and wise fellow, that he could singlehandedly carry the story, and he indeed must ultimately make the right call for his little girl. The film is entertaining, but not because anything is really resolved in the end (and the plot is as old as storytelling itself), but rather because the people and events are fun to watch, and a few are worth emulating.