Ah, the Bar Mitzvah. The transition from youth to adulthood. The opportunity to adopt new responsibilities and perspectives. The pronouncement of your senses of personal and religious identity alike. And all in a venue that demands a game of Coke and Pepsi and a frenzy of karate-dancing to that "Cent, Dollar, Dollar" song. In short, the most important event in a young Jewish person's life.
And this sentiment isn't confined only to we lowly common Jews, no. Even the famous ones hold their own Bar Mitzvah ceremonies and celebrations in high esteem, mensches that they are. In fact, it was just yesterday evening that Henry Winkler — the coolest man to ever live (at least in the canon of the Happy Days universe) — publicized an admission of pride for the anniversary of his own Bar Mitzvah. Winkler took to Twitter on Thursday to commemorate the 54th anniversary of his personal rite of Jewish passage:
On this day 54 years ago I was BAR MITZVAHEDhere in NEW YORK— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) November 8, 2012Winkler's prideful expression of his segue into the chosen community has made us think back on other members of the tribe — those who have shared tales, or in some cases even more, about their Bar Mitzvah experiences.
On a 2009 episode of Inside the Actors Studio, guest Seth Green discussed with host James Lipton his Bar Mitzvah experience.
Earlier this year, Blossom star and The Big Bang Theory regular Mayim Bialik shared her memories of the event with Philadelphia's National Museum of American Jewish History. She touched on the spiritual aspects of her Bat Mitzvah — Philly.com reports that Bialik described herself as "devout" and "immersed in her Judiasm" — as well as the just-for-fun elements of the party. According to Philly.com, her Bat Mitzvah party was adorned with a blue motif and fishbowl centerpieces.
Rapper Drake, too, has been vocally prideful about his Jewish upbringing. Not only did the music artist discuss his Bar Mitzvah in the below clip, he actually paid tribute to the ritual in a music video with Nicki Minaj.
Not convinced? Here's proof!
While the Bar Mitzvah traditionally takes place at the age of 13, there are some cases when men and women engage in the ceremony later in life. Actor David Arquette, for example, had his Bar Mitzvah at age 41 (in June of this year) during his first trip to Israel.
So we've got the Fonz, Blossom, Deputy Dewey, Eddie McDowd, and ol' Aubrey Graham. Oh, and don't forget the New Girl's resident tenet of Zenet, Schmidt (Max Greenfield):
[Photo Credit: AP Photo]
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Lonnie (Eddie Griffin) Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and G (Anthony Anderson) three childhood friends now in their twenties live a pretty indolent lifestyle: They live with Lonnie's uncle and their only goals are to party--hard. So the boys are in for a rude awakening when their respective girlfriends all get pregnant at the same time. And it doesn't help that all three have somewhat strained relationships with their girlfriends already. Lonnie's girlfriend is a skanky stripper who gets pregnant in order to collect $300 a week from him while Dominic's develops a blossoming crush on her own midwife. Although G's relationship with his girlfriend is more grounded than those of his buddies' her constant demands that he give up boxing his favorite pastime is driving a wedge between them. But when the men decide to toss their negativity out the window and channel their energies into parenting rather than partying they realize that fatherhood has its rewards. Viewers meanwhile will view the transformation and wonder what happened to the comedy they paid to see.
My Baby's Daddy would be insufferable if it weren't for the comedic flair of Griffin Imperioli and Anderson. Griffin's character Lonnie the most clownish is a nerd with oversized glasses so there is the requisite makeover scene in which his friends try to teach him how to walk the walk and talk the talk of a suave "player." But the outcome is a new Lonnie that is Griffin's forte: A character reminiscent of Anton Jackson aka Undercover Brother. By contrast Anderson's character is the most genuine of the bunch a hardworking sweetie who doesn't always do the right thing. G often says things that aren't exactly politically correct but we forgive him (and even laugh) because he always has the best intentions. Rounding out the threesome is Imperioli as Dominic the craftiest one of the bunch. With his dry wit Imperioli generates subtle laughs by crafting a character that is more the target of the film's slapstick rather than the initiator. There are also some worthwhile performances from Method Man and Tommy Lister Jr. but with such an impressive roster of comedic talent how did this project go so wrong?
The most obvious problem with My Baby's Daddy is its blatant inconsistency. The film starts off on a positive note with an animated opening sequence in a Fat Albert vein that traces Lonnie Dominic and G's friendship from birth--all to the tune of Run D.M.C.'s "Peter Piper." Although this prelude briefly gives My Baby's Daddy a hip retro quality it quickly crumbles into a messy piece of filmmaking. Scribes Damon 'Coke' Daniels and Griffin in his screenwriting debut deliver a formulaic script with too much insipid drama. The plot and characters are established hastily within the first 10 minutes of the film and the story subsequently plays out like an outline with each scene mechanically taking viewers in a straight line from point a to point b. This genreless film drifts without direction from a comedy to a spoof to a drama. Director Cheryl Dunye meanwhile seems more concerned with churning out a short and dirty movie then a creative one but gets credit for adding gusto to the old kick-in-the-groin gag--she follows it up with a fart.
After 20 years with the LAPD Det. Mitch Preston (Robert De Niro) just wants to catch the crooks finish the paperwork and retreat to his mundane life at home where he eats TV dinners and pursues his hobby of making bad pottery. Patrolman Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy) really wants to be an actor--he's only a cop because he made a lousy waiter. When Sellars bungles Preston's undercover case and media hounds catch it all on tape the irate Preston shoots up a news camera that gets in his face. Over-caffeinated network exec Chase Renzi (Rene Russo) upon seeing the damning evidence that could have killed her cameraman is captivated by Preston's complete lack of charm and convinces her superior she can save his crappy network by pairing Preston and Sellars up on a reality show. As expected Preston is reluctant--and even more so when he's forced to take the mugging Sellars as his partner. The two take impromptu acting lessons from iconic actor/director William Shatner (playing himself) and set off to attract an audience boost the ratings become celebrities and get the bad guys in a televised reality christened Showtime. Meanwhile the evil Cesar Vargas (Pedro Damian)--whom we know is evil 'cause he hides in the shadows he's flashy and well groomed and he mumbles in an unfathomable Third World/ European accent--is stockpiling guns powerful enough to knock down houses and blow the doors off a Brinks truck.
The movie offers a few good yuks--a coke-sniffing dog an unprecedented cameo by jive-rhyming lawyer Johnnie Cochran and William Shatner satirizing William Shatner (who does this better than anybody else satirizing William Shatner). Unfortunately we've seen a lot of his funniest stuff like the scene in which he demonstrates how to roll over a car hood cop-style in the previews. Rene Russo gives an effective souped-up Lethal Weapon-type performance with her hyper pushy fast-talking network exec desperate to make her name in the industry. De Niro's straight-man comedy is in his facial expressions--or lack thereof--and Murphy is…well Murphy. It's their first outing together and they play off each other like a foul-mouthed version of Abbott and Costello (guess who plays who?). We've seen De Niro play grumpy (Midnight Run) and Murphy play obnoxious (almost everything) before. But as you may suspect it's their grade-A chemistry that holds this badly stitched predictable though occasionally funny flick together--especially in regards to the jokes on Hollywood and the current bounty of reality TV.
You can smell the gags and The Odd Couple-versus-Goldfinger plot unfolding a million miles away. You just know Preston is hiding a gun inside that Big Gulp when he goes undercover to investigate a pawn shop and you know Vargas will make bad-guy errors in judgment like staging a robbery in downtown L.A. the day after he's confronted by our star cops in a populated disco. But that may lead you to wonder why the police--who are likewise not presented as being particularly bright in this movie--weren't trailing him as Vargas is the prime suspect in the gun-trafficking subplot. Some of the comedy borders on satire but isn't played up enough for you to tell if it was meant that way or not. The action scenes are so badly edited it's hard to tell who's chasing whom until the camera cuts back to Murphy's toothy grin and a cement-faced De Niro shooting out his car window. And speaking of commercial-laden reality TV the product placement in this movie is shameless--we get a full-length commercial for Apple Computers played not once but twice.