The Maccabees never saw these coming
Chag Sameach everyone! Hanukkah 2021 kicked off on off on Nov. 28, which means festivities through Dec. 6 for those of you celebrating. And to help get you in the spirit of the season, here are eight Hanukkah movies to light up your holiday.
“An American Tail” (1986) Steven Spielberg’s 1986 allegory for the Jewish immigrant experience became the highest grossing non-Disney animated film of its time. Telling the story of a family of mice (the Mousekewitzes) who emigrate to America to escape persecution from cats, it spawned a theatrical sequel, “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West,” a slew of direct-to-DVD sequels and a PlayStation game. This classic film is sure to keep you warm this Hanukkah. Just don’t tell your cat about it.
“Eight Crazy Nights” (2002) For the outsider at the party who needs a crash course in latkes and dreidels, “Eight Crazy Nights” is a good start. Adam Sandler gives us his classic “The Hanukkah Song” during the movie, which let the world know O.J. is in fact not a Jew. But David Lee Roth? Definitely.
“Full-Court Miracle” (2003)A Hanukkah staple, the Disney Channel Original Movie (currently streaming on Disney+) revolves around Alex Schlotsky (Alex D. Linz), the young leader of an inept Jewish basketball team, who recruits a washed up college basketball star to be their coach. Inspired by the true story of University of Virginia Cavaliers basketball star Lamont Carr, the 2003 movie is a good old fashion sports movie with a side of latkes that is sure to make you cry.
“The Hebrew Hammer” (2003) How does a Jewish private (circumcised) dick talk dirty? He tells his ladies that he wants to “have lots of children” by them. “The Hebrew Hammer” is the ultimate Hanukkah flick starring Adam Goldberg as a private detective who is “part man, part street, 100 percent kosher” and whose mission is to save Hanukkah from the clutches of Santa Claus’ evil son. The 2003 film, directed by Jonathan Kesselman, has garnered a fierce cult following over the years. And if it seems like it packs every possible Jewish stereotype, it’s because it does.
“Little Fockers” (2010) The third installment in the “Meet the Parents” trilogy isn’t exactly Oscar material. The comedy sequel was dubbed “the worst film of any trilogy to appear in a movie theater,” by Vanity Fair, even “worse than ‘Look Who’s Talking Now,’ ‘Major League: Back to the Minors,’ and ‘Porky’s Revenge’ (ouch). The Fockers come together for a mixed holiday shindig. And if that’s not enough to put you in a Hanukkah spirit, there’s enough Barbra Streisand and Ben Stiller to last you a lifetime… or at least eight days.
“Hitched for the Holidays” (2012)“Blossom” alum Joey Lawrence and “Schitt’s Creek” star Emily Hampshire play characters pretending to be a couple to get their families off their backs (only to fall in love for real) in this 2012 Hallmark movie that has a little Hanukkah and Christmas all mixed in for a perfect blend of light rom-com fun.
“The Night Before” (2015)Seth Rogen dons a dorky Hanukkah sweater to join two childhood friends (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) on one final Christmas Eve of debauchery in this R-rated comedy. “Made by Jews, is about Christmas, and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen posted about the movie on Facebook ahead of its release. Yes, this is mostly a Christmas movie — but Rogen’s character does remind the goyim, “We did not kill Jesus! We did not do that!”
“Call Me by Your Name” (2017)You may be surprised to see this flick on the list. But as Refinery29 aptly noted, “Call Me by Your Name” is the perfect Hanukkah movie. Not only are Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) both Jewish, the movie also has one of the rare explicit Hanukkah scenes in which housekeeper Mafalda makes latkes, Elio plays with gelt (for all you goyim out there, it means money) and there’s even a Menorah with seven lit candles. And if that’s not enough reason to watch, the movie won a gazillion awards including an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Peaches not included.
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