Hanukkah on Rye is a bright light in this year's line-up of Hallmark holiday movies. When competing deli owners get paired-up by a matchmaker, will they be able to get past the business conflict? Here's my review, and a look at what makes this movie special.
The Hanukkah on Rye Story
Molly's (Yael Grobglas) family owns the famous Gilbert Deli in the East Side of New York City. She helps run the deli alongside her parents, and her Bubbe (Grandmother). And, some day she will take over the business. The deli is known for its latkes, and is the last of the Jewish delis in the neighborhood. But business is slower than usual, so the family needs strong sales this holiday.
Jacob's (Jeremy Jordan) family owns a popular deli in California. His family, at the request of his Bubbe, sends him to New York City to scout out a new location for their restaurant. It has been a lifelong dream for the family to have a location in NYC, so Jacob sets out to find the perfect location. He rents an apartment that just so happens to be in the same building as Molly. As his new neighbor, Molly helps him out and Jacob quickly learns about her family's deli.
The pairs Bubbes both play a pivotal role in their lives. Not just because of the family business, but because each Grandmother wants to see love in their lives. So Molly and Jacob's Bubbe each sets them up with a matchmaker who is known for having a 100% success rate. While neither one is interested in a relationship, they both agree to oblige their Bubbes.
The challenge that Molly and Jacob face is that they are competitors. Jacob is scouting out a restaurant location that is right down the street from the Gilbert Deli. But through his time getting to know Molly, and her family, he can't imagine opening a restaurant that would have the potential of putting them out of business. They both grow to have feelings for each other, but can they put their family businesses aside and follow their hearts instead?
Hanukkah on Rye Cast
In addition to Jeremy and Yael, Hanukkah on Rye includes a great supporting cast. One face that Hallmark fans may recognize is Jeremy's Bubbe (Paula Shaw). As always she is wonderful in this role as the loving Grandmother who wants to see her grandson fall in love. Another fan favorite who has a small cameo is Lisa Loeb. She performs a new Hanukkah song at a competition that the Gilbert Deli runs to bring in customers.
Hanukkah on Rye Review
The last few years the Hallmark Channel has presented one Hanukkah themed movie as part of it's Countdown to Christmas movie lineup. They always tend to be some of the better movies of the season, and Hanukkah on Rye is no exception. It really is a fun, and light movie to watch.
The movie is not perfect and for me I found some of the stereotypical Jewish lines off-target. For me I felt them unnecessary and insensitive, but for others it may be no big deal. I guess I just wish that Hallmark didn't rely on the gimmick of throwing in one too many, “oye vey.”
What I liked about the movie is the story, and the cast. It was something unique, and new, and I absolutely loved that. I also love learning about different faiths and traditions. I would think that for Jewish viewers it's nice to see these traditions on TV, and for non-Jewish viewers it's a great opportunity to experience something new.
I loved all of the characters in the movie and there was great love, kindness, and heart with all of them. I also liked the humor in the movie. And, the idea that two people getting paired-up by a matchmaker have family conflicts that may ruin their relationship before it starts.
The Verdict: Illuminating. Hanukkah on Rye is beautiful and I hope you check it out. No matter your faith, this movie has the charm, and chops to satisfy any holiday movie lover.
Watch Hanukkah on Rye on the Hallmark Channel
Related Article: List of 2022 Hallmark Christmas Movies