If you want to see what sort of movies Jews make for themselves, rather than for goyisch consumption, watch “The Tollbooth” (2004), with Marla Sokoloff as the just graduated Jewish girl from Brooklyn Sarabeth Cohen (whose name is a combination of the names of her two Holocausted aunties), and her Irish-American boyfriend Simon Stanton from Pennsylvania played by Rob McElhenney. McElhenney as the lone goy in the movie, aside from a short scene in Pennsylvania, is cast as the moral dilemma for a Jewess torn between true love, and loyalty to her family and tribe and ultimately her Holocaust religion.
The title of the movie is not ironic. Like I said, this is a movie by Jews, about Jews, for Jews. The first time Sarabeth takes an automobile trip to Simon’s home in Pennsylvania from her cocoon of New York City, she is horrified that they have to pay a toll on the way. Things go from bad to worse when Simon’s sister’s fiancé has a Mel Gibson moment, getting drunk during a working class Pennsylvania BBQ and saying, “The Jews stole our technology and gave it to the Chinese,” which happens to be a 100% factual statement, and a pretty mild one at that. But Sarabeth is doubly horrified that the filthy goyim in Pennsylvania have any but worshipful thoughts about their Jewish masters. Simon yells at the sister’s boyfriend though he’s too kind and mild to really express anger, and then he starts profusely apologizes to Sarabeth. But Sarabeth’s deep seated paranoia about her spiritual inferiors is confirmed as she says to Simon, “If I wasn’t here you guys wouldn’t have yelled at him! You’d be laughing along! You probably say this kind of stuff all the time!”
Sarabeth has recently graduated from some New York City College with a degree in art. Simon Stanton was her classmate, and the movie opens with Sarabeth making a feminist painting and then noticing that Simon is interested in model rockets. She comes over and asks him about his model rocket and expresses mild contempt for his useless and meaningless hobby that pales in comparison to her feminist paintings. Of course! Space travel versus feminist paintings, can you even imagine it! What’s she doing with that immature goy boy? And then there’s the unspoken symbolism of Simon’s rocket – it’s Nazi technology! SB is marrying into Nazis! Watch out, nice Jewish kids!
There’s Sabbath dinners with the kvetching Jewish parents who are battling Sarabeth because she has to either marry a rich Jewish guy or get a real job, while Sarabeth is moaning that she has to live in Brooklyn while she really wants to live in Manhattan. Her parents constantly remind her of her Holocausted aunts, Sara and Beth, to make her feel guilty and bring her back into the Jewish fold. Sarabeth’s moral dilemma is solved when the subject of her paintings switches from garish paintings about the evils of patriarchy to garish paintings of her Holocausted aunties, Sara and Beth. Her feminist paintings had been rejected by the art world; but then she has an exhibition of Second Generation Holocaust survivor paintings and her show is somewhat of a success. So when she changed her subject from the universalist subject of feminism to the particularist subject of Judaism/Holocaust, she finds her artistic muse and begins her career as an artist in earnest.
The successful exhibition of the Holocausted aunties is also the turning point of the film when Sarabeth realizes she must reject the voluntary Holocaust of interfaith marriage to a model rocket hobbyist Irish crypto-nazi from Pennsylvania. Sarabeth and Simon have their ups and downs as couples do, and then Sarabeth decides to make a trip to Pennsylvania to see Simon. But as she approaches the tollbooth, she hears the voice of her grandmother, “Sarabeth, if you have a choice to follow your heart or follow your stomach, then follow your stomach. Don’t do something that makes you feel sick.” Sick with Jewish guilt, that is, as well as fear and paranoia about the unknown goyisch world outside of New York City. The Tollbooth, as the movies title, is the turning point where the Jewish girl must decide. After all, she can’t remain ambivalent while paying a toll, and then if she changes her mind after the Tollbooth, she’ll have to pay the toll again, without even having done what she came to do – visit Simon! Ultimately, the message is that Simon the Irish goy boy wasn’t even worth a 2 dollar toll! If it wasn’t for the tollbooth, she might have found herself in Pennsylvania after all!
So Sarabeth turns around and goes back to her cocoon just before the Tollbooth, and lives Jewishly ever after. The non-Jews in this movie are mere props for Sarabeth’s journey back to her Jewish tribe after her rumspringe period dabbling with universal things like love and feminism. Through the whole movie, Simon Stanton is actually a perfect gentleman, guilty of nothing more than being a Gentile and liking model rockets. He helps the Jewish women in the kitchen and dutifully puts on some silly looking headgear at their Sabbath dinner. If Simon were less than perfect, maybe the audience would expect Sarabeth to break up with him for some other reason than being a non-Jew. The message of the movie is this “Even the best of the goyim are not fit to intermarry with.” Or to pay a toll for.