Thursday, May 22, 2014 | return to: columns, celebrities


celebrity jews

by nate bloom

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Sandler’s latest, plus ‘X-Men’

Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler, 47, made a couple of crude but still really funny comedies at the start of his career, like “The Waterboy” (1998). He has also made a few dramas (such as “Spanglish” in 2004) with good directors that were intelligent films but didn’t quite work. But I agree with critics that just about all of his comedies since 1998 have been crude, with few funny moments (even though many were box-office smashes). The exceptions are the two charming films he made with Drew Barrymore: “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.” The pair has chemistry. So, here’s hoping that “Blended,” opening Friday, May 23, doesn’t end this streak. Adam and Drew play single parents who go on a bad blind date, but by coincidence they later end up sharing a suite at an African resort for a week.

By the way, Barrymore, 39, and her husband, art consultant Will Kopelman, 36, who wed in a Jewish ceremony in 2012, had their second child, Frances Barrymore Kopelman, last month. (Their daughter Olive was born in September 2012.) On the downside, Barrymore recently told an interviewer that she had decided that conversion to Judaism was a bigger undertaking than she had thought and she wasn’t converting. She had previously said she might convert just before her wedding.

The Marvel Comics series “X-Men” has become a mega-profitable movie franchise. “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is the seventh film since the series began in 2000. Opening on May 23, it is billed as the ultimate “X-Men” ensemble because the characters from the first movies join those in later flicks. One constant is Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine. The script is co-written by Simon Kinberg, 40, and directed by Bryan Singer, 48.


Another Douglas bar mitzvah

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
Acting legend Kirk Douglas, now 97, became an observant Jew in 1991. He celebrated his second bar mitzvah in 1999 when he was 83. His third bar mitzvah came 13 years later, in 2012. However, his most famous son, Michael Douglas, 69, while respectful of his father’s faith, has always made it clear that he was “half Jewish” and firmly secular. In 2003, the press was full of reports that Michael and his wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, were flying to Wales, her homeland, to have their young son and daughter baptized at a charming Roman Catholic chapel. A raft of celebs was supposed to attend. Mysteriously, this event was called off at the last minute.

I was surprised when the New York Post reported on May 8 that Michael told guests at a party celebrating a new book by his friend, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, that he injured his leg the previous week while dancing at the bar mitzvah of his son Dylan, 13.

Clearly, there is a family story here — how Dylan came to have a bar mitzvah. But I don’t know it. Still, I would bet big money that Dylan’s Jewish grandfather is schepping nachas. By the way, Michael and Catherine, who announced a trial separation last summer, are now officially back together again.


TV doings

Andi Dorfman
Andi Dorfman
The new season of ABC’s “The Bachelorette” began on May 19. Andi Dorfman, 27, who publicly rejected the titular star of last season’s “Bachelor” program, is the first Jewish woman to be the star of “The Bachelorette.” Dorfman is described as beautiful and very smart (she is an assistant district attorney in the county that includes Atlanta).

On Sunday, May 25, HBO will present a new film version of “The Normal Heart,” the 1985 Tony Award-winning, largely autobiographical play by Larry Kramer, 78. The main character is Ned Weeks (Kramer), a Jewish writer who struggles during the early days of the AIDS crisis to put together an organization that will combat the indifference of the government and even some gay leaders to the growing HIV/AIDS crisis. Mark Ruffalo plays Weeks, with Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons playing other big parts.

Columnist Nate Bloom, an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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