Hewyood Allen, born Allan Konigsberg, is still making movies. His latest, To Rome With Love, has been favorably reviewed in The New Yorker for reasons that partially escape me. The New York Times gave it a more even-handed review, and I may be a bit harsh in my judgement of the film because it featured my Italian alter ego, Leopoldo Pisanello. But what’s in a name? After all, my family name is dangerously close to Jaime Pressly, the model/actress whose principal claim to fame is reminding Howard Stern that he was Slapped the Yarmulke. Allen makes his usual hand-waving, shoulder-shrugging, eyebrow-arching, brow-furrowing, forehead-wrinkling neurotic gestures and halting comments in the film, but the star of this effort is Jesse Eisenberg, born Jesse Eisenberg, who sprang to big screen prominence with his portrayal of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and who deftly acquires Allen’s neurotic personna on screen. I confess being a bit conflicted to admitting that watching Woody Allen makes me laugh at times, about as conflicted as I am at confessing that Howard Stern makes me laugh at times.
Maybe it’s me, but put a tallis and yarmulke on a young Allan Konigsburg, swap out his round glasses for rectangular ones, and wouldn’t you have a striking resemblance to Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum? I’m not talking politics or Judaica here, just appearances, acknowledging how unfair it is that such superficial comparisons can be drawn.