So last night the son, wife and I found ourselves watching a Lifetime holiday movie titled, “Mistletoe and Menorahs.”
It’s the story of a Christian woman who has a few days to understand Chanukah, and a Jewish man who has a few days to understand Christmas. They’re strangers introduced by a mutual friend, and over the course of a week (or so) they’re supposed to tutor one another on proper holiday techniques. As these things tend to go, man and woman have some misunderstandings, then come to appreciate one another, then they fall in love, kiss clumsily and wrap the film in a tidy 1 hour, 26 minutes.
This is no knock on Kelley Jakle and Jake Epstein, the two lead actors, but “Mistletoe and Menorahs” is one for the what-the-fuck-is-going-on-here? ages. To begin with, the flick takes place in Chicago, so therefore we’re asked to believe that two people in their late-20s/early-30s have literally never spoken to a Jew or Christian before. For example, the woman doesn’t know how to pronounce menorah. She’s apparently never eaten a jelly donut. She seems genuinely shocked to learn Chanukah is eight nights. The man, meanwhile, has never had fruit cake. He doesn’t grasp the intricacies of decorating a tree. He needs help (wait for it) wrapping presents.
But if there’s one moment—one singular moment—that kills me … well, it’s not a moment, per se, but an element. On repeated occasions in “Mistletoe and Menorahs,” the lead characters eat latkes. Like, they eat latkes the way one habitually bites his nails. Latkes, then more latkes, then even more latkes. Seriously, someone needs to tell the folks at Lifetime that we Jews pretty much do latkes one night. Maybe two.
Anyhow, the latkes of “Mistletoe and Menorahs” don’t actually appear to be latkes. They’re fat and thick, and the son and I figure the crew ran out of potatoes and sent intern Lenny to track down some deep-fried slabs of chicken.
Who’s gonna notice?
We Jews don’t watch this shit.