In Judaism, a Bar or Batmitzvah is a coming of age ceremony welcoming the young person to their future adult self.
In Keeping Up With The Steins (2006), Benjamin Fiedler (Daryl Sabara) is about to become a Bar Mitzvah. As with any religious ceremony, his family is coming together to celebrate this young man making his entrance to the adult community. And anyone who has brought their family together for a event of this type knows that drama will always ensue.
Benjamin’s father, Adam (Jeremy Piven) and his grandfather Irwin (Garry Marshall) have not spoken in many years. Benjamin is feeling the pressure to succeed while his family is feuding and trying to keep up with the neighbors. Will Ben’s Bar Mitzvah be a memorable one for the right reasons or the wrong reasons?
What is interesting to me about this movie is that you can change the location and religious faith of the characters and the same issues will come up. There is, even with the specifics of the story, a universality to this story of family and growing up.
I recommend it.
*-This review contains spoilers from last night’s episode. Read at your own risk if you have not seen it.
After what seems like forever, the doors of Selfridges have opened once more.
The season starts with the interesting juxtaposition of life and death. The opening scene is the funeral of Rose Selfridge (Frances O’Connor). The story then jumps ahead to the wedding of Rosalie Selfridge (Kara Tointon) to Serge de Bolotoff (Leon Ockenden). What seems like young love will turn into a bumpy road, not just for Rosalie, but for the entire family. There are rumors that Harry (Jeremy Piven) is considering buying a piece of empty land in West London and using that land to build an airline hanger. Nancy Webb (Kelly Adams) convinces Harry to use that land build homes for veterans who are begging on the street.
Among the staff, things have changed. Agnes Towler (Aisling Loftus) and Henri LeClair (Gregory Fitoussi) are as happy as they were at the close of the last series, but the residual effects from the war are still with Henri. Miss Mardle (Amanda Abbington) is not sure if she wanted to return to the store after a prolonged absence, but the store needs her. Kitty (Amy Beth Hayes) and Frank (Samuel West) are also newlyweds while Mr. Grove (Tom Goodman Hill) and Mr. Crabb (Ron Cook) worry about the store’s bottom line and the emotional roller coaster that their boss is going through.
I like this show. Harry is a dynamic, multifaceted character with many layers. As the seasons have progressed and the store has brought success to Harry, it has not changed him. But life has. The death of his wife, his children growing up, the war, the changes in staff and the changes in their lives has made the show more watchable as it has progressed.
I recommended this show from the first episode and I will continue to recommend it.
Mr. Selfridge airs Sunday at 9pm on PBS.
Last night, PBS and Masterpeice added a new series to their lineup, Mr. Selfridge.
The series tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge (Jeremy Piven), an American businessman who opens the first modern department store in 1909 London.
Harry is brash, bold and optimistic against all odds, a retail showman battling against a traditional world where modernity and new ideas are not always welcome.
Harry is married to Rose (Frances OConnor), but is flirting with Ellen Love (Zoe Tapper), a stage actress and Lady Mae (Katherine Kelly), his aristocratic backer.
Harry’s employees include Anges Towler (Aisling Loftus), Mr. Grove (Tom Goodman-Hill) and Miss Mardle (Amanda Abbington), each with their own personal drama.
The writer of Mr. Selfridge is Andrew Davies. Mr. Davies has written many well known series, including one of my personal favorites, the 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice.
Mr. Selfridge is compelling and interesting. Masterpiece has added another gem to it’s lineup and I once again look forward to filling my sunday nights with Masterpiece and PBS.