In an unexpectedly enjoyable way, Crossing Delancey addresses one of the great societal issues of our day – the dilemma of how the 30-ish, attractive, successful, intelligent and unmarried female finds a mate she can be happy with.
Off-off-Broadway fans may remember the title from playwright Susan Sandler’s semi-autobiographical 1985 comedy about how her loving, old-worldly and slightly overbearing Lower East Side NY Jewish grandmother engages the services of a matchmaker to find her a suitable marriage partner.
Amy Irving is the dutiful granddaughter who works in a pretentious Manhattan bookstore by day, keeps her own apartment and always finds time to make frequent visits to her precious Bubbie (Yiddish actress Reizl Bozyk).
Matchmaker (Sylvia Miles) brings Irving together with an unlikely candidate, pickle maker Sam Posner (Peter Riegert). The major set-ups focus on Irving’s torn affections between the rakish, smooth-talking charm of pulp novelist Anton Maes (Jeroen Krabbe), who gives good readings on rainy days at the bookstore, and earnest, straight-forward, vulnerable Riegert, who unabashedly holds his heart in his hand for her. To the credit of most of the actors, the sentimentality doesn’t sink the story.