Who knows from rubies when The ShobzMaven grew up
believing that diamonds are a girls best friend. But how to tell this to Boaz Yakin
who wrote and directed A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES emphasizing: A woman who is always there
to care for her husband is worth the highest price - a price far above rubies.
Oy. What is this film about? Rubies? Inanimate spouses? A lusty,
unfeeling (maybe both the same?) brother-in-law? A passionate, unfulfilled wife? Maybe not
so dead brother? Spooky bag lady? The Rebbe? You tell me.
Renee Zellweger (Jerry Maguire) may think that she is
playing Sonia, a mixed-up Orthodox girl who marries Mendel (Glenn Fitzgerald), a dull and
unemotional boychick, but shes really portraying someone far removed from the
spiritual center of pious Jewry whose interests are Torah, prayer, and devotion to family.
Take it from the SnobzMaven who is acquainted with religious Jews, well women that is,
since the men will not speak to the Maven who although is upbeat and attractive for her 80
years is still a woman, but it shouldnt bother you from this description. Its
just that Sonia does not fit the profile of a typical Orthodox wife, one who wouldnt
dare utter a peep around her husband.
Blame it on her troubled past. She simply cannot shake the image of
her brother committing suicide. Or did he? And poor Mendel. All he revels in is living
three blocks from the Rebbe. This is what is considered in some circles a big time.
Unfortunately, when they move into their monotonous apartment with all the interminable
street noise, you know that Rudy Guiliani will not be there to help despite his pleas for
a quieter, more civilized New York.
Put it another way. Heres a woman burning with love, and her
spouses only concern is why shes not praying all the time. The arrival of a
baby doesnt help. Now she is saddled with the upbringing of a child, while her own
needs are unquenchable, unchecked by a stuffy man who seems to daven (pray)
with more feeling than when he makes love.
SnobzMavenettes can now see the writing on the parchment paper: 1)
Sonia will repent and lead the Hora dancing at synagogue weddings; 2) Sonia will run off
with the Rebbe; 3) Sonia will win the Lotto and say shalom to Boro Park. This could be a
wrong day for guessing, because she actually flees to Mendels conniving, smarmy
brother Sender (Christopher Eccleston), and begins a career in buying and selling precious
jewels for him. Along the way they have an on-going affair which will discourage any
married woman from ever having a rendez-vous with her brother-in-law.
Do you love me more than you love God? she asks her
husband. Aghast from the query, Mendel nearly makes himself meshugge. His wife is another
story. She wants more freedom since she has gotten a taste for independence. This cuts off
communication with her husband, but introduces us to an eerie beggar lady and jumbled,
disjointed vignettes of Sonias brother who may or may not be dead.
Already you can hear the oy veys coming from the Jewish community
over this movie. To observers who dont comprehend what goes on in the religious
world, the text will seem strained and foreign. For those who live in that ambiance, the
film will raise their blood pressure, that is, if they stay long enough to watch the
leading lady have a fling with a Puerto Rican jewelry maker and then nosh on an
eggroll. Gevalt! Things cannot get any worse unless you ponder what A PRICE ABOVE RUBIES is all
about. Warning. You could come up with cubic zirconias.
With love and knishes from your Show Biz Maven.
# # #