Crossing Delancey Review

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Isabelle (Irving) is a thirtysomething whose pleasant life hums along nicely, but lacks the big L She’s working on that, having the unrequited hots for an intense novelist, when her gran, Bubble, in cahoots with Hannah the matchmaker, offers a nice man, S


Made from a play by Susan Sandler, Crossing Delancey is not only a delightful romantic tale but also a gentle class comedy contrasting the tradition and zest in Bubble and Sam’s Lower East Side Jewish neighbourhood with Isabelle and her working-girl chums’ uptown lifestyle of fancy jobs, intellectuals, health club sessions, takeaway meals and egocentric casual lovers.

While Isabelle is dithering, a wealth of well-observed characters are on parade on both sides of the street, from the literati to a crazy street lady and a maniac cab driver, living’s a bit flat as the winsome snoot whose neck you’d like to wring, but Riegert is endearingly real, and other good turns abound — 74-year-old Reizl Bozyk hamming her socks off as Bubble, Sylvia Miles as the hustling yenta, Jereon Krabbe as the scumbag of Isabelle’s desires, Rosemary Harris as a grande dame poet, singer Suzzy Roche as one of Isabelle’s man-hunting pals. Director Joan Micklin Silver shows her characteristic perception and warm affection for the characters, exposing their vulnerabilities and finding the humour in their milieus without resorting to cliche.

A small film, but fresh and immensely charming.