You don’t mess with the Zohan! – or maybe you do…
I’ll start off with this: I Like Adam Sandler Movies, they always make me laugh. For some strange reason, Adam Sandler movies are among the few movie subject my wife and I agree on. While we watch many movies on our home theater system, Adam Sandler is one of the only things we’ll agree to see a real theater. In any case, tonight we’ve gone to see his latest one: “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan!”.
In one sentence that sums the entire movie: The movie is really funny and enjoyable. However, I’d like to address some the stereotypes and obvious misunderstanding of Israeli nature that are portrayed in the movie. First of all, the movie shows Zohan, walking around the beach of Tel-Aviv, and portraying a macho man on steroids, in our case, the ultimate Israeli soldier enjoying his vacation – while parading nude on the beach and flapping his salami all over.
Hello! We don’t do that – While it is true that Israeli men are considered somewhat rough around the edges, we don’t usually parade our personal parts on the beach. Actually, there are laws in Israel prohibiting that, no matter if you are Soldier or war hero.
Anti-Terrorist fighters are celebrities – How un-true! In Israel, anti-terrorist fighters are well kept secrets, you never see their faces. Even combat pilots are never shown on TV. According to the movie, Zohan, an anti-terrorist fighter is a well known figure in Israel and people regard him as a legend. Actually, he is so know, that even when coming to America, he can’t flee his fans who recognize him – a situation that can’t happen in real life.
In addition to the above, the Tel-Aviv beach portrayed in the movie, while truly being shot in Tel-Aviv, is not a hyper-drived version of Miami. I admit that during summer the Tel-Aviv beach is crowded and picturesque, but it is nothing like the movie portraits.
The movie continues to portray Zohan as an over dozed sex maniac, capable of performing sex with almost any female partner. In addition, this portrait is later on in the movie taken over by the character of Uri, another Israeli living in New-York – managing a would be called electronics shop. I’m very happy to say that most Israeli men don’t behave like the ones in the movie, it’s just plain silly.
Over the course of the movie, one of Israel’s national foods is being exploited all over – the Humus. For those of you who don’t know, Humus is a paste like dish, made of a mixture of Chickpeas, Sesame paste (also know as Tehina) and other herbs and spices. It is true, we love our Humus, but we don’t use it to brush our teeth, dip our glasses in it, put it in our tea or coffee – it is a good starter dish, but it doesn’t define us.
Another thing to say about the movie, is the cast. While Zohan (Adam Sandler) is the main character of the movie, other characters are portrayed by memorable actors. “The Phantom”, a Lebanese terrorist, is portrayed by John Turturro, a fairly interesting choice. While John’s comic talents had been observed over the years, his role as a terrorist, turned fast-food giant, turned show sales man is hysterical. Salim, a Lebanese farmer who’s goat was taken by Zohan is portrayed by Rob Schneider. Rob is well known for his role as Duece Bigalow, America/European Gigolo. Rob does an amazing job at portraying a fairly simpleton farmer, trying to rebuild his life in the US, while being confronted by an old nightmare – Zohan. His almost cartoonish attempts to harm Zohan and later on dialing the “Hizbella” terrorist hotline – is simply as funny as funny can get.
Well, other than the above, I highly urge you to go see the movie, a really funny flic and a nice 90 minute get away from your regular day hassle bussle. Btw, if you ever come to Israel – don’t look for the Fizzy Bubbly drink – IT DOESN’T EXIST – WE DRINK COKE!