Ahhh, ethnic stereotypes: comedy’s endless well of inspiration. Play them right and you end up highlighting the things we all, regardless of cultural background, have in common. Play them wrong and, well, you’re risk coming off as kind of a racist. It requires a deft touch, and a particular sense of humor to get ethnic comedy just right, both of which are on display in the charming short film Pizza Bagels, by director Joe Mari, presented by the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
The story of an Italian father and son preparing to host the son’s Jewish girlfriend and her mother for dinner, Pizza Bagels is particularly enjoyable in that it doesn’t dwell on each ethnicity’s stereotypes (thought it certainly highlights a few), so much as focus on the anxiety both families have over making a social faux-pas. Sure, it ventures into a few moments of overly-precious sentimentality, but for an indie short clocking in at nine minutes long, Pizza Bagels is quick charmer.
Watch the whole thing here: