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Suzie Gold (15)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer; TV spots.

IT’S billed as a vibrant and colourful comedy about the universal struggle to find one’s identity, but Suzie Gold ends up coming across as a Jewish version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding - and far less funnier to boot.

Summer Phoenix stars as the eponymous heroine in question, attempting to juggle the neurotic attentions of her family, with a blossoming relationship with a co-worker, who just happens to be a non-Jew.

The ensuing ‘comedy’ leaves no cliché unturned, and ends up being more offensive to Jewish customs than The Passion of The Christ, given that virtually every single character on show conforms to some form of ridiculous stereotype.

Beginning at the wedding of Suzie’s sister to a traditional Jewish husband, the film then goes back to the months leading up to the big occasion, as Suzie meets, and starts dating, the news editor at the television station where she is working.

But while Darren represents everything she is looking for in a companion (as well as great sex in the photocopy room), Suzie is wary of provoking the wrath of her family, who might not accept someone of differing faith.

 

To complicate matters still further, she is also being courted by the handsome and wealthy Anthony, whose idea of a perfect date is taking her to a skating rink, called ‘Jews on Ice’, and eating at the same restaurant every night.

When the inevitable happens, and Darren confronts her about her attitudes, Suzie must choose between doing what is perceived as right by her family, and where true happiness lies. You can probably guess the outcome.

Thrown into this nauseating mix, are the members of Gold’s oddball family and friends, including her Ali G and hip-hop obsessed younger brother, a hysterical mum, a kindly grandmother, and all manner of quirky in-laws.

At the basis of Suzie Gold lies a heart-warming romantic comedy with more than a passing nod to Bridget Jones’ Diary, as well as the aforementioned Greek Wedding. But the jokes are too laboured, and the scenarios too painful to fully do it justice.

The visual gags, at the expense of Jewish custom, are quickly tiring, and totally obvious, while the chemistry between the two romantic leads virtually non-existent.

And aside from the fleeting moments of charm (which usually stem from Suzie’s kind-hearted father), most of the film feels desperate and awkward.

Phoenix, for her part, remains alluring throughout, but even she is found to be struggling against some of the story’s soppier contrivances, which makes the whole business a thankless task for just about everyone concerned.

More fool’s gold than anything else.

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