BAD SHABBOS (Tribeca 2024) – Sherin Nicole

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

If one person behaved rationally in Bad Shabbos the movie would end after 20 minutes with a 911 call. But that wouldn’t be a NYC story, and this most definitely is. Directed by Daniel Robbins with co-writer Zach Weiner, Bad Shabbos is a religious culture clash comedy that brings together a zany ensemble led by Kyra Sedgwick and Clifford Smith AKA Method Man.

The film thematically flips the traditional greeting “Good Shabbos,” unfolding over a chaotic Friday night at the home of Ellen and Richard (Kyra Sedgwick, David Paymer). This Shabbat dinner is special because their son, David (Jon Bass), and his fiancée, Meg (Meghan Leathers), have invited her Catholic parents over to meet the Jewish side of the family. A family fraught with dysfunction and judge-y-ness, including daughter Abby (Milana Vayntrub), Abby’s boyfriend, the caustic Benjamin (Ashley Zukerman), and the pampered little brother Adam (Theo Taplitz).

What could go wrong when Adam plays a misguided prank on Benjamin? Everything could and does, like a house of cards in a sudden breeze. One bad decision tumbles over into another and the central problem—which could have been solved simply—becomes insurmountable. Blood and poop splatter, roasts and potatoes fly, and tempers spark. For many, this will be a fun time. The standouts are Leathers as Abby, displaying a cool calm combined with winky jokes, and Smith’s down-for-whatever Jordan, with his alarming impersonations and heroic actions. During the chaos, these two performances—surrounded by a strong cast—kept me engaged.

Despite a witty script and a fabulous ensemble, I would’ve utilized the fast-forward button if I could’ve. The hijinks become tedious after a while and the dialogue prattles on without peering deeper into the characters. You can’t help but wonder: Why are they making these decisions? I enjoy a comedy of errors about people with questionable morals who are forced to break bread together—with a challah joke thrown in. However, I craved a denouement to break up the extended chicanery so I could leave the table and avoid these people I didn’t get to know well enough.

That said, the ending is gleefully transactional and proves no matter how scandalous, these two families were made for each other.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 0 Flares ×

Sherin Nicole

Sherin Nicole writes about film and produces content for geeks and nerds alike on Geek Girl Riot.