July 15, 2019

Billy Crystal Returns to Rom-Coms as  Rabbi in ‘Untogether’

Photo from IMDb.

Billy Crystal charmed us in “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Princess Bride” and “Forget Paris” but now the nice Jewish boy is testing out his rabbinic knowledge as a rabbi in the new indie flick “Untogether.”

The quirky rom-com set in Los Angeles was written and directed by Jewish British-American journalist and novelist Emma Forrest. Forrest wrote the acclaimed memoir, “Your Voice In My Head,” in 2011.

Real-life sisters Jemima Kirke (“Girls”) and Lola Kirke (“Mistress America”) portray the main characters. Jemima plays an ex-junkie and aspiring writer who is dating a doctor-turned-war-memoirist played by “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan. Her sister, Lola plays a masseuse, who dates an older rock star (Ben Mendelsohn) but soon finds herself drawn to a much-older liberal rabbi (Crystal). 

“Untogether” will be the first time Crystal is portraying a rabbi in a movie, though he has made many jokes about rabbis in his stand-up specials.  

Other tribe members in the film include Jennifer Grey (“Dirty Dancing”) and Scott Caan (“Ocean’s Eleven”).

Multiple scenes are set in synagogue, one character even suggests that someone has “copy-edited the Torah.” Forrest told JTA that the rabbi is inspired by an “amalgamation” of Los Angeles Rabbis David Wolpe (Sinai Temple), Mordecai Finley (Ohr HaTorah) and Sharon Brous (IKAR).

Crystal reportedly first passed on the opportunity but, after a script rewrite, he signed on. Forrest said she got valuable input from him, which “really enriched the script and the film.”

 “Untogether” is available on Amazon Prime Video Feb. 8.