Plot: What’s it about?
Isabella (Amy Irving) is a Jewish woman in her 30s, working in a New York bookstore. The position suits her well enough, as she has an interest in literature and loves the scene. At her work, she runs into all sorts of people who adore books, some more unusual than others. The variety of people and interests keeps Isabella on her toes and she feels like part of the literary community, which is a good feeling for her. She might not be as brilliant or well read as those around her, but she is quite popular nonetheless, thanks to her good looks. Although she denies it, she is aware that her beauty is the reason many of these men engage her in conversation, not to mention that their intentions don’t involve books at all. She has recently accepted the job of secretary for a pompous poet (Joroen Krabbe), but he again seems more interested in her body than her mind or skills. Her grandmother, known as Bubbie has become concerned about her, as she feels Isabella should be married with a family by this point. She even hires a match maker, who locates a match right off the bat, but not one from Isabella’s new literary world. Can Isabella fall in love with someone as simple as a pickle seller and even if so, would she give him a chance?
I’d never even heard of this movie before and since I am not a fan of romantic comedies, I didn’t look forward to Crossing Delancey that much. The premise seemed tired, a woman torn between two men from different social circles, who has to decide what is most important to her. The cast looked passable, but Amy Irving isn’t always reliable, so I didn’t hold out a lot of hope. As it turns out, this could have been a more than solid movie. The characters have the potential to be deep and interesting, but they’re held back by the material throughout. For instance, the pickle man is supposed to one of the pivotal roles in the film, yet he has minimal screen time and little development. Even the central character seems restrained by the formulaic approach of the filmmakers, which is a shame, as I think this could have been a lot better. The balance of drama and humor is good, but I wasn’t taken in by either side, especially the dramatic elements. Irving is decent in lead and some supporting roles are played with enthusiasm, but Crossing Delancey is just another mediocre movie about romance. There is no magic and no real romance, just a tired storyline and poor direction. I just can’t recommend this one, even as a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Crossing Delancey is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer here is unremarkable, but solid, so fans should be satisfied. The print here shows minimal defects and grain is much lower than in prior editions, which means the picture is very much enhanced and improved. The colors look bright and natural throughout, while black levels seem sharp and well balanced at all times. I wasn’t impressed by the detail level or depth of the image, but the softness is minimal. I wouldn’t call this a great transfer, but the movie looks more than passable.
Audio: How does it sound?
A basic, but more than acceptable 2.0 surround option is present here, which seems to be up to all the needed tasks. This material never really pushes the mark much, so the mix remains anchored in the front channels, but that is never a problem. The dialogue is the main element and it is well presented, with good volume balance and no clarity issues to report. The mix stays natural in scope and never forces the surrounds, so the experience is a relaxed, very effective one. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.