While not a Jewish holiday, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by many in the Jewish community. And just in time for the holiday comes a new movie about an interfaith relationship called Two Lovers, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Vinessa Shaw. The movie is about a young Jewish man (Phoenix) who is torn between dating the Jewish girl his parents would like him to end up with (Shaw), and the girl who lives across the street (Paltrow).
I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t say how it manages the family dynamic surrounding interfaith relationships. Reviews of the movie indicate the religious aspect is only one part of the greater narrative - that of a young man searching for his place in life – but we are always interested to see how mainstream movies portray these relationships. As intermarriage continues to become a reality for many families, bringing these issues to the big screen might open a dialogue for couples and their families who find themselves in a similar situation. And Two Lovers might gain more press than usual because Phoenix announced that he is quitting acting and this would be his last movie.
We can only hope the interfaith relationship is depicted in a sensible and conscientious manner. Does anyone plan on going to see the movie this weekend? If so, we would love to know your thoughts, good or bad.