The big news one afternoon in Bethpage, L.I., is a solar eclipse that closes school and opens a few minds. But in this deadpan comedy from a former costume assistant to Woody Allen, it's always the night of the living dead. The emotional zombies are disguised as parents and teachers. If they weren't so well behaved, they'd scream with perplexed rage. The only bright spot in this spiffy shtetl of depression is the manic, half-Italian Judy (The Sopranos' Edie Falco), and she's leaving town. Barbara Barrie, Bob Dishy and the late Madeline Kahn shine in a pristinely black-and-white portrait of domestic derangement. But the film is one-note; misery is the only game in town. Poor Jews, the movie says--what they really want to be is...Italian.
--By Richard Corliss