Growing up in New York, it always seemed like there was very little difference between the Jewish and Italian cultures. Both are warm and family-oriented. Both show their love through food. And both are passionate about life. I say knish, you say cannoli — I say delish, you say I’ll take a dozen.
These similarities made me start to wonder (always a dangerous proposition) — what would it be like if The Godfather‘s Michael Corleone (New York Italian, passionate about power) and Katie Morosky from The Way We Were (New York Jewish, passionate about almost everything else) were to start a relationship? By mixing some of their movie dialogue, I imagine that their conversations might go something like this:
Michael: Now who approached you? Tattaglia or Barzini?
Katie: The only David X. Cohen in the book.
Michael: I love you … but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.
Katie: There’s only one thing to be scared of…anybody, any place, who will not stand up for world peace now!
Michael: I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Katie: I’ll study French cooking while you write your novel.
Michael: You like your lasagna?
Katie: I would have made pot roast but I didn’t know if you liked it.
Michael: All right. This one time — this one time I’ll let you ask me about my affairs.
Katie: Are you still a nice gentile boy?
Michael: Don’t tell me you’re innocent. Because it insults my intelligence — and makes me very angry.
Katie: Happy Rosh Hashanah!
Yes, just like in every relationship, these two are talking at, rather than to, each other. Like every couple I know, they don’t necessarily listen to each other all the time — but somehow they do manage to communicate. The chances of the Corleone family and the Moroskys getting together? Not a likely match — but hey, you never know.
It’s not whether you’re a meatball or a matzoh ball. It’s all in how you roll.
© 2014 Claudia Grossman