The ghosts who whisper to Jennifer Love Hewitt have advised her to take some truly strange cinematic projects over the years. Outside of the sturdy teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait and the underrated black comedy Heartbreakers (with Gene Hackman and a game Sigourney Weaver), Hewitt has squandered her Party of Five fame on efforts ranging from Garfield and its abysmal sequel to Jackie Chan’s forgettable The Tuxedo.
Maybe her next picture, Jewtopia, will be the one to turn the actress’s career around. And no, despite the title, this is not an edgy, controversial, scathing work of racially sensitive drama that will challenge Hewitt’s range. Instead, Variety reports that the adaptation of Bryan Fogel’s comedic play mixes the mistaken-identity mayhem of Wedding Crashers with the over-the-top stereotypical punchlines of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Honestly, my interest in the project just waned.
And yet Jewtopia should bring its own loyal audience members to the theater. Variety notes that the play, about a gentile plumber (Crossing Jordan star Ivan Sergei) pretending to be a Jewish doctor so his childhood best friend can romance a beautiful girl, holds the title of longest-running original comedy in L.A. theater history. And during an off-Broadway run in 2004, the show recouped its entire investment and became “one of the three most successful off-Broadway productions of the last decade, along with Blue Man Group and Stomp," the trade reports.
Yes, but will it go Garfield numbers at the box office? That’s the question. No word in the story when Fogel will direct his Jewtopia production, from a script he co-wrote with Sam Wolfson, but the trade notes that it will be an indie pic with a modest budget.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.