Combustible Celluloid
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With: Amy Irving, Peter Riegert, Reizl Bozyk, Jeroen Krabbé, Sylvia Miles, George Martin, John Bedford Lloyd, Claudia Silver, David Hyde Pierce, Rosemary Harris, Suzzy Roche, Amy Wright, Faye Grant, Deborah Offner, Kathleen Wilhoite
Written by: Susan Sandler, based on her own play
Directed by: Joan Micklin Silver
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 97
Date: 08/24/1988

Crossing Delancey (1988)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

In a Pickle

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

My wife introduced me to this wonderful, refreshingly simple romantic comedy set amongst a cozy Manhattan backdrop, and we've seen it together many times. Izzy (Amy Irving) works in a bookshop and hangs out with all kinds of published authors. (Rosemary Harris appears in one scene as published royalty who holds court among the shop's regulars, its battered couches and cluttered shelves.) Izzy's Bubbie (i.e. grandmother), played by Reizl Bozyk, decides that Izzy needs a husband, and employs a matchmaker, who in turn hooks her up with a pickle maker, Sam Posner (Peter Riegert). Izzy likes Sam just fine, but at the moment she's infatuated with author Anton Maes (Jeroen Krabbé). Made today, this movie would be a predictable love triangle, in which one suitor was clearly unsuitable, but writer Susan Sandler (who adapted her own play) and director Joan Micklin Silver keep everything at street level; these characters act like grownups, with grownup feelings. They're all excited about new love, but equally wary. Even the ending gets away without a clear and total payoff (i.e. no wedding bells). Silver perfectly captures a New York feel for her movie; in one throwaway scene, Izzy eats a hot dog in a tiny, seedy little joint and a crazy woman slathered in makeup enters and starts singing. The unfazed New Yorkers keep eating and enjoy the show.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video released this movie on DVD, at last, in 2007, bundled with four other "Valentine's Day" titles: The Clock, Miracle in the Rain, A Summer Place and Blume in Love. Its onlyextra is a trailer.

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