Exactly. This strikes me as trying to create controversy where none exists.
Munich, Pineapple Express, Requiem for a Dream, and Royal Tenenbaums all featured male leads identified as being of Jewish descent. As for female leads hmm… this is just a guess, but are any of the Sex and the City broads supposed to be Jewish?
I’m confused. Is it just leading actresses who are Jewish? If so, apparently there are ton of films in the aughts with a Jewish leading lady judging on this list. Notable names:
Helena Bonham Carter
All leading ladies who’ve made multiple films each this decade. That’s worth a few dozen right there.
Or is the complaint that there aren’t any female leading roles where they really Jew it up, whatever that might mean? If so, that seems like an odd criticism. Shouldn’t that be taken as a virtue, not a vice? As in, not perpetuating Jewish stereotypes?
Charlotte in SAtC is a convert.
::Hands in man card::
There was a movie in the 70’s or 80’s with Barbra Streisand pretending to be a boy to get into a Jewish prayer school.
Most movies that feature weddings (or funerals!) portray them as religious ceremonies. It’s nearly always some sort of Christian ceremony, so while the characters may not be particularly devout or observant they are at least nominally Christian.
I can’t off the top of my head think of any movie I’ve seen from the past decade that featured a Jewish wedding. There probably have been some, but I didn’t see them. I can actually think of two popular American movies from the past decade that featured an Orthodox Christian ceremony (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Sideways), and according to the Pew Forum there are about three times as many Jews in the US as Orthodox Christians.
There probably have been, but the female lead in a movie is rarely the mother, sister, or daughter of the male lead. There are exceptions, but these are usually supporting rather than lead roles.
While not the lead, Kathy Bates featured prominently as the mother in The Waterboy.
IMDb shows 5 titles from 2000 to 2010 with the keyword “Jewish Wedding”:
Defiance (WWII era)
I’ve never even heard of any of those except Wedding Crashers.
I think some of the characters in A Serious Man might have been Jewish.
A Serious Man, by the Coen Brothers had a Jewish protagonist and wasn’t based on WW2: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1019452/
ETA: Shakes fist at Biffy
In Wedding Crashers they only crash a Jewish wedding. **Defiance /B] didn’t have female lead roles. Dummy was about a Jewish family where the daughter is a wedding planner, but she wasn’t the lead character.
In A Serious Man, the main character is quickly divorced by his wife. So again there’s no female lead role.
Wasn’t the lead female role (Lorraine Bracco) in Goodfellas supposed to be Jewish?
I hesitate to post this, as I generally loathe mafia movies, and I have only seen Goodfellas once, many years back, but I remember when watching it, I was kind of surprised that an Irish/Italian mobster (Ray Liotta) would have a Jewish wife…
Am I way off base in thinking this?
No, Lorraine Bracco’s character in Goodfellas is explicitly Jewish. There’s a scene where Henry first meets her mother, where she lies to her, claiming that Henry is half-Jewish, so her mother won’t be upset that she’s dating a non-Jew, and they have a Jewish wedding.
The movie I mentioned earlier “In Her Shoes” features a Jewish wedding (as did “Private Benjamin” but that was the wrong decade.
I think the female lead in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist was Jewish (although I think she was attending a Catholic school).
Well, if so, the OP should catch Judy Greer as Esther Bloomenbergansteinenthal in The Hebrew Hammer (2003).
I also demand that more Japanese women get leading roles. On top of that, why is Lucy Liu the token Asian female? Where’s the Koreans? The Vietnamese?
If we’re talking about religion, why aren’t there more Jains or Hindus?
It’s not just Jewish women.
I don’t know that one could claim Jains are underrepresented in American cinema, since the percentage of Jains in the US is very low. They aren’t even listed separately in the Pew Forum report I linked to above. I don’t know how often Jains show up in Indian films.
There are roughly four times as many Jews as Hindus in the US, so accurate representation would give us 1/4 the number of Hindu lead roles as Jewish lead roles. I can’t think of many big American films from this decade that have Hindu female leads – I didn’t see The Darjeeling Limited, was there a Hindu leading lady in that? – but there have been a few British films that saw wide release in the US that do, such as Bride and Prejudice and Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire (which also features a Muslim male lead).
Yeah, later on Karen’s mother complains that Henry stays out all night because “[he and his friends] aren’t Jewish,” adding that Karen’s father “never stayed out all night” (and hadn’t been able to digest a decent meal in six weeks. Now that’s a Jewish mom, right there).
Of course, neither Karen nor her mom are “leads.”
Yentl, but it was mentioned upthread.