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Movie Review: Holy Rollers

Alternate Title: My Son the Drug Mule

Story: Oy vey. There aren't any Jewish mothers out there who would be kvelling about their sons if they turned out to be drug dealers (but then again, what mother would)? Inspired by true events about a few ultra Orthodox Hasidim Jews, who in 1998, smuggled over 1,000,000 Ecstasy pills into the US via Amsterdam. The operation was short lived but made quite a splash at the time throughout the Orthodox community.

Directed by Kevin Asch and written by Antonio Macia this morality tale has some interesting details and fine performances. Young Sam Gold has his life planned. His father and Rabbi have arranged a marriage for him and decided that he should become a Rabbi. Sam meets his black sheep neighbor and is soon flying to Amsterdam as a drug courier. His Hasid appearance easily evades customs and security. He in swept into the underworld of drugs, sex and rock n' roll. To say that his world is turned upside down would be a vast understatement. The excitement, danger and unpredictability of his new life is in total contrast to the life that had been planned for him by his father. What's a nice Jewish boy to do?

The film is predictable but still very entertaining. I scratched my head at the idea that Sam's choices seemed only to be the world that was planned for him and the world of drugs. This 'either' - 'or' existence seemed limited to me.

I am not sure this film has any wide appeal outside large cities, but you never know. Check out the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEQJF2LSvvk

Acting: Jesse Eisenberg as Sam Gold, uses his innocence perfectly. He is fine as this young conflicted man. Justin Bartha as Yosef, was perfectly creepy. he reminded me of one of the Fiennes brothers.Ari Graynor as Rachel, is a stand out performance. Danny Abeckaser as Jackie, the head of the drug operation is terrific.

Trivia: Stella Keitel as the young Zeldy, is the daughter of Harvey Keitel and Lorraine Bracco. Writer, Antonio Macia is the son of Argentine and Chilean immigrants and was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. He graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in International Studies. He then served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Toronto, Canada where he worked with Hispanic communities. Jesse Eisenberg is the older brother of Hallie Kate Eisenberg. His mother is a professional clown who performed at children's birthday parties in their hometown of East Brunswick, N.J. for 20 years.

Predilection: None.

Critters: None

Food: Latkes and challah.

Sex Spectrum: Some ogling through a window to see boobies on a neighbor's TV and a quick clip of some porn on TV

Blatant Product Placement: None

Soundtrack: An interesting mix of tunes, some of which are performed by The Shabbos Goys.

Opening Titles: For some reason I cannot remember the opening titles. Duh.

Visual Art: Almost documentary-like in it's detail.

Theater Audience: An eclectic mix of New Yorkers.

Weather: Not a factor.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 1

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: 90 minutes