Hollywood — Sony Pictures, the American movie giant, announced today that it was canceling the release of its latest film, “The Marriage Interview,” which had been scheduled to open in theaters nationwide next week.
Lane D. Parsha, head of Sony’s Cinema Division, said the decision was made after hundreds of Jewish matchmakers, known as shadchanim, angrily stormed the movie lot to protest the film’s content.
“The Marriage Interview” tells the story of a professional matchmaker who impairs the potential engagement of an Orthodox Jewish man and woman by burdening their parents with irrelevant questions about the families’ religious history and habits.
At the end of the movie, the young couple locks up the shadchan and elopes.
At a news conference, Rabbi Kane Yirbu, a spokesperson for the protestors, said that the movie cast matchmakers in a false light.
“It’s a total misrepresentation of the work we do,” Yirbu declared. “It’s true that we ask many questions of the families, but it’s to protect their children, not to sabotage a possible union.”
In the film, the matchmaker, played by Mel Gibson, gives each family a 75-page questionnaire to complete in writing, with queries such as: “If your daughter had a yeast infection on Passover, would you allow her to sit at the seder table?”
Rabbi Yirbu said he was particularly irked by a scene in the film where a family member refers to the lengthy questionnaires as “weapons of match destruction.”
Sony said it might reshoot the movie’s ending and then release the film through its Israeli subsidiary, Sony Yisroel.