With a title like Holy Rollers you would expect this to be a comedy, right? Sadly, it’s not…at least not really. It’s a Jewish drama with a few funny-ish jokes thrown into the mix. It’s not that it’s a bad movie by any means, it’s just as straight forward and middle of the road as you can get. The story is completely predictable and for some reason the stakes are never high enough to warrant interest.
The film takes place in a good ol’ Jewish part of town in Brooklyn where everyone’s main concern is who is marrying who and praying. In the midst of all the repressed youths, one boy’s greed and innocence allows him to be lured by his neighbor to help transport “medicine” to the rich.
When your story is about two Orthodox Jews who start pedaling drugs, there are so many opportunities for drama and comedy to ensue. You have the chance to dissect and expose a world that many of us know nothing about. Sadly the film never dives deep enough into the world to make us feel invested in the outcome. It walked that middle line where there wasn’t enough depth to make it a drama, nor enough brevity to make it a comedy.
If they wanted to make it a real drama where we were invested in the characters, they needed to go further into why these people do what they do and why they would want to rebel. They never really relayed the feeling of what Jewish guilt feels like – oy! That could have made it much more funny and dramatic.
Overall, the acting was good. Jesse Eisenberg steps out of his shell a bit, although he’s still the awkward boy who doesn’t fit in and chases after the pretty girls.