The daughter of an African-American mother and an Ethiopian Jewish father, Haddish celebrated her fortieth birthday and embraced her father’s Judaism earlier this month.
I love that she is Jewish and she embraced her Judaism. I love that she reminds audiences that not all Jews look and/or sound like Barbra Streisand or Fran Drescher. We come from all parts of the world and speak as many languages are there are to speak. Some of us have lighter skin, some of us have darker skin.
Either way, we are all Jews and Tiffany Haddish is one of us.
When it comes to gangster films, female characters usually fall into one of two categories. If they are any sort of prominence within the narrative, they usually fall within the romantic or familial label: wife/girlfriend/mistress or the sister/mother/ daughter. If they are not prominent within the narrative, they are a nameless and faceless background character.
The new movie, The Kitchen attempts to change that. Based on the comic book of the same name, the film is set in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City in 1978. The Irish mob, known as the Westies, unofficially rules the neighborhood. When three of their members are sent to jail, their wives take their places within the mob organization.
Kathy Brennan (Melissa McCarthy) is a devoted wife and mother. Ruby O’Carroll (Tiffany Haddish) is treated like an outsider because she is an African-American woman married to a Caucasian man. Claire Walsh (Elisabeth Moss) has been knocked around by her husband more times than she can count.
Not only must the women contend with opposition from the men, they must also content with the fact they are breaking the law.
What I hate is that this movie has so much potential going for it. It has a great cast and a narrative, that if written well, could be compelling. Instead, this movie falls flat on it’s face.