Streaming Stuff, a Historical Correction, and Beautiful People
Premiering on Friday, April 27 on Hulu is the documentary “Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie.” This film about the iconic Barbie doll features interviews with leading cultural critics, including GLORIA STEINEM, 84, and PEGGY ORENSTEIN, 57. No doubt, Barbie’s creator, the late RUTH HANDLER, will be a big figure in the film. Premiering the same day is “The Week Of,” an original Netflix comedy film. ADAM SANDLER, 51, plays a devoted middle-class father who is determined to pay for his daughter’s wedding alone. He continually spurns offers of help from the father of the groom (Chris Rock), a wealthy doctor. It’s an interesting twist---contrary to the “usual assumption”—the black father is richer than the white and Jewish father (the trailer shows the bride being lifted in a chair at the wedding; so I assume bride’s family is Jewish). RACHEL DRATCH, 52, co-stars as the mother of the bride.
It’s the 70th anniversary of Israel, of course. The most popular movie about the founding of Israel was, and remains, “Exodus” (1960), starring PAUL NEWMAN. For a long time, the theme song from “Exodus” was, for Diaspora Jews, an alternate Israeli national anthem. The song has always been an oddity because its composer and lyricist were long reported to be non-Jewish--sort of the mirror image of all the popular Christmas songs written by Jewish composers.
The theme was an instrumental in the film. But lyrics were soon added by singer Pat Boone, a religious Christian and a big supporter of Israel. The song was often sub-titled using those lyrics (“This Land is Mine”) and non-Jewish singer Andy Williams had a big hit singing “Exodus” with lyrics. For many years, ERNEST GOLD (1921-1999), the composer of “Exodus,” was reported to be ‘only’ “one quarter Jewish” in biographies. However, a reliable biographer has recently checked the records and both sets of his grandparents were wed in Jewish marriages. So, the composer was Jewish, after all. (Mr. Boone, now 83, remains a devout Christian.) A couple of footnotes: Gold fled Austria with the Nazi takeover. His son was the late “soft” rock singer/songwriter ANDREW GOLD (“Lonely Boy”, “You’ve Got a Friend”—the “Golden Girls” theme). Andrew had a non-Jewish mother, but his children were raised in the faith of his Jewish wife.
Last week, the cover of People magazine’s annual “Beautiful” issue featured singer PINK, 38. Last year, for the first time, Pink (born Alecia Moore) described herself as a “Jewish woman” while responding to the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia (Pink’s mother is Jewish). She’s not the first Jewish women on the cover. The others are KATE HUDSON, 39, in 2008 and GWYNETH PALTROW, 45, in 2013.
At the Movies—Avengers: Infinity War- Opens April 27 and Yet More Paltrow Stuff
There are so many characters and name actors in “Infinity War” that I wonder how much screen time they each got. Every Marvel superhero you can think of has been rounded up to take on the powerful Thanos (Josh Brolin) before his blitz of destruction and ruin puts an end to the universe. SCARLETT JOHANSSON, 33, reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff/the Black Widow. Also returning is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, the CEO of Stark Industries and the fiancée of Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man). In real life, Paltrow is the fiancée of producer/writer BRAD FALCHUK, 46, and rumors are hot and heavy that their nuptials will happen soon.
Last week, “Time Magazine” issued their annual list of the “100 Most Influential Persons.” It includes ADAM NEUMANN, 38, a great-looking guy who grew up on an Israeli kibbutz. He’s the co-founder and CEO of “We Work”, an American company that provides innovative shared workplaces and services for all types of businesses. His personal wealth is now estimated at 2.5 billion. His wife is REBEKAH PALTROW NEUMANN, 40, a striking looking filmmaker who is Gwyneth’s first cousin (her late Jewish father and Rebekah’s father were brothers). Adam and Rebekah have five children. Last year, Adam, an Israeli Navy vet, told an Israeli news station that he and his family have been rigorously observing Shabbat for two years. He said: "During Shabbat I am completely cut off, there is no one to talk to, and I do not compromise about it. At first it felt like a tough assignment, but it gives me time with my children, my wife, my friends… And the real magic is that the more I do.