Every once in a while, I come across a film who's central characters are so honest in their look, sound and feel, that they could easily be long lost members of my own family. Crossing Delancey is one of those rare films. One that I can easily watch over and over, particularly when I need a little 'pick me up'. Peter Riegert's 'Sam' is so charming and genuine in his demeanor that 'Izzy', once the two are introduced, stands little chance of escaping back to her artificial and mostly barren existence among the cultured elite.
Having been born and raised in a city tenement, I remember thinking back then in much the same way as Izzy. Given the opportunity, it was a place from which I wanted to be far removed. Izzy makes the classic mistake of confusing her need to better herself and her surroundings with her almost compulsive need to divorce herself from the very people who know, love and best understand her. Her journey back to the realization that, regardless of where she lives and works, Izzy will always be from the same cut of cloth as the people from whom she had been trying to escape, is ultimately what makes this movie worth watching.
In most films, there's a standout moment or a scene, and Crossing Delancey is no exception. Blessed with a great cast (Izzy's grandmother steals the show), the film is riddled with humorous and sometimes very funny moments. However, it is one of the film's more serious and unsettling moments (I refer to the classic scene at the eatery where the 'has been' torch singer with the tip can appears to sing directly to Izzy), that seems to capture, for me, the magic of Crossing Delancey. Overall, a charming winner of a film that is made significantly better by a wonderful and offbeat Roche sisters soundtrack.