The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 January 2006

Worst. Seder. Ever.

Some people argue that all families, no matter how loving, are dysfunctional. It could even be true: nothing in life runs quite as smoothly as we might hope.

Salvador Litvak's When Do We Eat? amplifies this concept, as it examines a family seemingly more in bondage than bonded to one another. Michael Lerner is Ira Stuckman, who prides himself on conducting the World's Fastest Seder; this year he will be foiled by wife Peggy (Lesley Ann Warren), who is in one of those Back to Tradition modes, and the fact that none of his children seem to be on his good side.

Things start out badly and deteriorate from there, and it doesn't help when Ira's stoner son slips a tab of Ecstasy into his dad's antacid — except, somehow, that it does help. And before this night, so different from all other nights, is over, every single member of this family — including Jack Klugman, as Ira's father — will find release from that bondage.

When Do We Eat? played here last summer; in fact, it won Best Narrative Feature at the deadCENTER Film Festival, though I somehow managed to miss it. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art screened it this weekend as part of a "New Jewish Cinema" series. The small but vocal crowd loved it, and I did one actual spit take. And you'll get your chance to see it: ThinkFilm has picked up distribution, and plans to release it on the 7th of April.

Just in time for Passover, of course.

Posted at 7:53 PM to Almost Yogurt