Since the beginning of time -- or at least the beginning of cinema -- there have been chick flicks: three-hanky tear-jerkers and, conversely, romantic comedies. In honor of the Sie FilmCenter's new Hey Girl chick-flick series, debuting April 24 with Dirty Dancing -- which might just be the greatest chick flick of all time -- we'll be looking at another late-'80s girlfriend movie: Joan Micklin Silver's Crossing Delancey.
See also: - The Women + Film Voices Film Fest breaks for a chick flick - Today's featured event: Film for film's sake thrives at the Boulder Public Library - Best Movie Theater -- Programming, 2013: Sie FilmCenter
Blessed with brilliant casting, the cinematic yarn is set in a New York City where the Jewish traditions of the Lower East Side are in a culture clash with modern times. It stars Amy Irving as bookstore worker Isabelle Grossman, who rubs shoulders with the intellectual elite on the job. But when she crosses into the world of her old-fashioned Bubbie, Ida (brilliantly -- and delightfully -- played by Yiddish theater star Reizl Bozyk in her only film role), she finds herself beleaguered by the old-fashioned values and mystical thinking of her grandmother's milieu.
Cut to the chase: Ida employs a yenta, or matchmaker (Sylvia Miles in a hilarious turn), who sets her up with the least intellectual man on the planet: Lower East-Sider Sam Posner, the pickle man on Essex, a working man played sweetly and philosophically by Peter Riegert. At first it doesn't work out, but we'd rather not spoil the ending by explaining what ensues.
Crossing Delancey won't change your world or blow your mind, but it might make you smile, and it will pull on your heartstrings. Available for download from iTunes or Amazon for $9.99 (rentals, $2.99) or on DVD from Netflix.
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Susan Froyd, in another life, toiled for a few years in some of Denver's most beloved and belated repertory cinemas. She has also seen a lot of movies over a lot of years. In this weekly series, she'll recommend forgotten films, classics, cult favorites and other dusty reels of celluloid from the past. You might like it.