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February 9, 2021 12:00 pm

New Movie Highlights Jewish Comedy for Valentine’s Day

avatar by Alan Zeitlin

Opinion

A still shot from ‘Bad Cupid.’ Photo: provided.

Is there only one person destined for you?

When I was in college, I thought I had found ‘the one.’ We dated, spent hours together — I even visited her parents.

I got a brand new car, and was looking forward to dating her for the second half of senior year. Then she dumped me over the phone. I didn’t have an inkling that anything was wrong.

In a very funny and clever new movie called Bad Cupid, Dave (Shane Nepveu) is in love with the gorgeous Denise (Christine Turturro), and she dumps him for no apparent reason other than she’s just not feeling it. Dave is a Jewish guy, and a Jewish older lady berates him for his lack of achievements, and mentions that the place he works at used to be a Jewish Community Center. It doesn’t help.

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As Dave, Nepveu puts on a great performance as a nice, nerdy guy who won’t give up on his hope to get back with Denise. I had a flashback to some Adam Sandler character years ago who was in a similar situation. Dave is slightly consoled with tough love from his lesbian cousin Morris (Briana Marin) who advises him to move on with his life. As for herself, she says she gets physically but not emotionally involved with other women.

Bad Cupid is a great, no frills romantic comedy that works because of the timing and chemistry of Nepveu and Marin, as well as a show-stopping performance by Archie, who is played by John Rhys-Davies of The Lord of The Rings and Indiana Jones fame. Rhys-Davies is completely believable in a fantastical role, even when he kidnaps someone and offers to order them a deli sandwich. He is later furious when his own pastrami sandwich is not extra lean. Listen, there are some things in life that are not acceptable.

Archie is dangerous and can kill, but for a specific reason, he wants to help Dave. The film has a bathroom scene that is too long (don’t worry, nothing gross) and there could have been a flashback to see happy times between Denise and Dave, but other than that, it’s nearly perfect.

There is a hilarious twist at the end that you won’t see coming. I would have liked to see a few minutes more screen time for Turturro (the cousin of John Turturro), but we see enough of her to know she has enormous talent. Stella is played by Amelia Sorensen, who tries to save Dave’s behind figuratively and literally (you’ll have to watch the movie to see how this is possible). She is gorgeous and her dialogue is delivered sweetly enough to give you cavities.

There is superb writing by Ira Fritz, Neal Howard, and Anthony Piatek, and the films works so well because of the great co-direction from Howard and Diane Cossa.

At the film’s end, you may think about the one that got away, or you may cherish the gift of a person you are married to or dating. But you’ll definitely laugh, and think, and wish you had an angel guiding you in the right direction. After all, when it comes to love, 90 percent of it is having the right timing.

It seems acutely that the makers of this film have had their hearts broken and keenly understand the ins and outs of dating. I almost wish this was a long series instead of a feature film.

I’m sure you’ll fall in love with Bad Cupid and it comes at a time when we certainly all need a laugh. I’m looking forward to a much-needed sequel. Put this high on your list of movies to see.

The author is a writer and educator based in New York.

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