If you're on the fence about becoming an anti-semite, I sincerely hope you won't get your hands on a copy of Jewtopia, because you'll end up filling out your application to the neo-nazi party before the end credits are over. The infamous 1940 anti-semitic Nazi propaganda film The Eternal Jew propagated less vile stereotypes about Jewish people. The Westboro Baptist Church thinks Jewtopia is too harsh on its negative portrayals of Jews.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waiter, unless you're the stereotypical cheap Jew "hilariously" made fun of in this movie. If that's the case, then endlessly complain about your food like an entitled douche bag, turn your waitperson's night into a living hell and reward them by not tipping.
Jewtopia was based on a play that was apparently successful enough within off-Broadway circles to warrant a feature adaptation with a surprisingly recognizable and otherwise respectable cast. Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson adapt their play into this disastrously unfunny and insulting comedy with Fogel taking over the director's chair.
My only hope is that something went very wrong in translation and that the play was better written and much more insightful and entertaining. If the successful play had the same material as the film, my hope in humanity will decrease significantly.
Fogel and Wolfson are themselves Jewish, which doesn't excuse the juvenile ugliness they present towards their own people. According to them, all Jewish men are emasculated, whiny, and spineless, while all Jewish women are controlling, entitled, shallow "princesses".
You might say the fact that they're just as racist towards other ethnicities and minorities in a last-ditch attempt at a South Park-like "equal opportunity offender" designation makes their depiction of Jewish characters more excusable. I think it makes the whole experience more disgusting and disturbing. I don't know about you, but laughing at a couple of Hispanic characters just because their accents are supposed to be funny does not produce comedy gold.
If we were to put aside how infuriating the depiction of Jews are in this film, which is very hard to do since the it's entirely built on that one bad joke, we still get a lazy, incoherent screenplay with flat, lifeless direction.
The story presents yet another tired rom-com premise where a man has to lie to a woman about his identity and drag that lie to impossible ends in order to keep her. Of course this premise is always flawed from the start since these idiot characters should be aware of the fact that the truth is going to come out eventually to a woman they're hoping to spend the rest of their lives with.
And boy do we get a doozy of an idiot on display here. Christian (Ivan Sergei) wants to marry a Jewish woman because he wants every decision in his life to be made by her (Get it? Jewish women are bossy, hardy har-har). He meets Alison (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who's way out his league but is somehow immediately smitten by him because, you know, script convenience.
Christian lies to Alison by saying he's a Jewish doctor. He's afraid she won't go out with him since his college sweetheart dumped him simply because he wasn't Jewish (Don't you know that Jews will NEVER marry non-Jews?) He asks his Jewish friend Adam (Joel David Moore) to help him act more like a typical Jew, which involves every single ugly stereotype in the history of anti-semitism.
I hate to act like one of those idiots who say things like "I have one black friend" when their knowledge of another culture is questioned. However, I feel like I have to expose my "Jewish-by-association" credentials here. Even though I'm not Jewish, I have a Jewish wife and daughter.
So if you think my opinion about the vile stereotypes perpetuated in this film doesn't count because I'm not Jewish, here are some observations written by my wife during the last ten minutes of Jewtopia. Bear in mind that these notes are only from the FINAL TEN MINUTES. If she were to compile a list during the film's entire running time, it would have been so long that it would have crashed the DVD Talk servers. Here they are:
Jewish men are impotent and controlled by the women in their lives.
Jewish women are whiney and controlling.
Jews are only concerned about money, are racist and crazy.
Jews are only interested in having Jewish babies.
Jews are complainers.
"Real Jews" think people who convert to Judaism are "Imitation Jews".
We are "nervous people."
We are always "up to something."
Every Jewish woman wants a man who will let her make every decision for him.
Jews are all affluent.
All Jewish women are only concerned with finding Jewish men. Bonus points if he's a doctor.
All Jewish women are JAPS.
Jewtopia showcases a bland and flat digital photography that looks like it was shot on an iPhone without any lighting work. There are cheap reality shows on basic cable that look better. I guess the 2.5 star rating for the 1080p presentation is for its faithfulness to the source material and the lack of apparent video noise. However, in this case, some post-production tampering might have helped.
There's only a single 5.1 DTS-HD audio track. The dialogue is crisp and clean but the surround tracks are entirely unused. This might as well have been a 2.0 presentation. Also, the levels between dialogue and music are a bit off, so be prepared to constantly turn the volume up and down.
Only a trailer is included. The package comes with a DVD copy as well, showcasing the same presentation of Jewtopia in standard definition.
My only regret is that since Jewtopia is a 2012 release, I won't be able to include it near or at the top of my Worst Films of 2014 list at the end of the year. Avoid at all costs.
Oktay Ege Kozak is a film critic and screenwriter based in Portland, Oregon. He also writes for The Playlist, The Oregon Herald, and Beyazperde.com