The Maccabees never saw these coming
Chag Sameach everyone! Hanukkah 2019 kicks off on Sunday, which means festivities through Dec. 22 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 movie 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 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 movie 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 Emily Hampshire star as 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 has a little Hanukkah and Christmas all mixed in for a perfect blend of light rom-com fun.
“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.
“The Holiday” (2006)OK, this isn’t a Hanukkah movie per se. It’s actually a very Christmas-y. But one of neighbors is Jewish and, well, we needed eight films so this one made the cut. In any case, if you’re a fan of holiday romantic movies, look no further. The film stars Kate Winslet as Iris, a freshly dumped British woman who swaps homes with another unlucky in love Californian gal named Amanda (Cameron Diaz) for a much-needed escape. The women soon bump into local boys and… well, you can figure out the rest.
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