Updated: May 5, 2021
Nothing brings a lump to the throat or a tear to the eye like a Jewish wedding in a movie. Hollywood has fine-tuned the Jewish wedding shtick to a fine art. While Jewish weddings have also been depicted in films from other countries, Hollywood seems to have the “genre” particularly well-oiled.
Let’s get down to “tachless”! Here are some of the best Jewish wedding scenes shown on the screen in recent years, according to Jenny Singer at Schmooze – the Forward’s fun Jewish pop culture blog. If you don’t agree, write in and tell us.
Please note that some of these scenes may not be “traditional” in the best sense of the word or quite as you may expect to see a Jewish wedding depicted (but there's ALWAYS a Chuppah!); some will show “diversity” (gay marriage, mixed marriage and so on); others may descend into pure “schmaltz”. Just remember that Hollywood develops scenes designed for audience appeal – or even shock value – but, hey, that’s what sells movies!
Here then are the top eight memorable scenes – like ‘em or not. Then we’ve also run a list of the most popular movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword "Jewish Wedding" according to IMDB. Go to the IMDB link to read more about the movies (and how Jewish weddings feature in them) themselves. Enjoy, enjoy.
Family GUY – Jewish Wedding (Spoiler warning: Nazi’s get involved).
Wedding Crashers – good Hava Negila dance scene.
Defiance - Imagining a wedding in the Belorussian woods, surrounded by Jewish partisans.
Arranged ((S2, E5) – An exclusive video series where viewers can follow American couples from very different backgrounds as they prepare for their arranged marriages.
Yentl – No spoilers if you haven’t already seen it years ago.
The Wedding Plan –An Israeli movie about a single woman throwing herself a wedding.
Sex and the City – While the most famous Jewish wedding on “Sex and The City” is Charlotte York’s marriage to Harry Goldenblatt, the best Jewish wedding in the series may be this gay wedding officiated by Liza Minelli as a gay men’s choir sings “Sunrise, Sunset.”
Fiddler on the Roof – The indisputable classic.
And here is a partial list of the top 59 titles (according to IMDB, not necessarily in order) featuring Jewish weddings (click on the IMDB link to see the full list).
Goodfellas (1990); Wedding Crashers (2005); Unorthodox (2020); Three Identical Strangers (2018); Along Came Polly (2004); New York, I Love You (2008); Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989); Private Benjamin (1980).
(Pic from Schmooze: Fiddler on the Roof revival 2016. Original photo Getty Images.)