Welcome back to another edition of “I Got High and Watched” and this time… I have company! That’s right it’s Hanukkah and I’m having a Hanukkah party a.k.a. getting high and watching the new Hallmark movie Round and Round with fellow Senior Editor and fellow Jew Riese Bernard.
This is a pretty freewheeling conversation so I’m going to give you some plot help up top if you have yet to watch this cinematic achievement. First of all, this is a Groundhog’s Day, as in the main character, Rachel, must live the seventh night of Hanukkah again and again. Her boyfriend Adam cancels on Hanukkah the day of the party, claiming to be sick. Her new love interest is a nice Jewish boy named Zach who is into nerd stuff which comes in handy when trying to solve the timeloop. Oh and Rachel’s sister Shoshanna is gay and pregnant and married to a woman with dyed blonde hair named Bex.
ALSO Vic Michaelis who plays Rachel is nonbinary!! We didn’t learn this until after our discussion because they are giving the performance of a lifetime here as “straight cis women.” But worry not! We returned to excitedly discuss this revelation.
Okay then, eat some latkes, spin your magic dreidel, and join us as we watch Round and Round.
Drew: Hi sorry! I was sorting DVDs and lost track of time.
Riese: That’s so on brand for you
Drew: One sec lemme have another hit lol
Riese: I am!!!
Riese: Okay so we open on a Seventh Night of Hanukkah dance party for adult singles?
This is where Rachel’s parents met.
This is a wild concept for an event.
Drew: I thought you meant an 80s party was a wild concept for an event. And I was like, “no, this is a flashback.”
Riese: Is this what it was like to be an adult Jew in the 80s?
I was a child Jew in the 80s so we didn’t party like this
Drew: Cream cheese isn’t sexy. Is that a hot take?
Riese: I don’t think cream cheese is sexy so no
Riese: Okay so now we are in the present day and our protagonist Rachel overslept, but luckily her Mom called her to wish her a happy seventh night of Hanukkah so she woke up.
Does your mom call to wish you a happy 7th night of Hanukkah?
Drew: My mom does call me to wish me a Happy Hanukkah.
So on the seventh night she’ll be like, “Did you light the candles?”
And I’ll say, “No I just moved in. I don’t have a menorah yet.”
And she’ll say, “Oh.”
Riese: Yes, when my Mom asks me that I say “yes” even when I didn’t.
Drew: Wait is this movie gay or are we just doing this for fun?
Riese: Well, there is a small gay part.
But I fear it might be so small that in an hour and 20 minutes you will be cursing my name.
Drew: I spent my life with straight Jews I’m prepared.
Riese: Okay now they are at their local Jewish bakery, Goldberg’s.
Riese: I have to be honest it doesn’t feel very Jewish to me!
It’s very polished
Drew: No it doesn’t have jewish bakery vibes
Drew: Wait, is the man with the Christmas blazer playing his guitar in the train station singing an original song??
Her boyfriend is also at this train station?
Riese: Those donuts look good
Riese: Wait who is this other man
Drew: Who is this actor she just bumped into?
Riese:Well it’s not her boyfriend
Maybe it’s the Jewish boy of her dreams.
Riese: Ok so now we are meeting her Dad.
Riese: Her Dad was in Suits. Did you watch Suits?
Drew: I did not.
Riese: Ok well this guy playing the dad is like iconic in Suits.
Drew: Is her dad gay? Is everyone gay?
Riese: THE LESBIAN IS HERE
Drew: Oh okay this is the gay. I can tell because she has dyed blonde hair.
Riese: Yeah she is Rachel’s sister’s wife
Everyone is gay.
Have I ever told you…
That I love you a latke?
Drew: I love you a latke too !!
Riese: Dad’s excited for the new condo ’cause they have a stream room where they can have a Shvitz! Ok horny jewish parents.
Drew: I do love the horny Jewish parent trope.
My friend Tirosh’s parents are like that IRL.
Riese: Ok I think this girl on the beanbag chair is also a lesbian
Drew: Rachel says “I thought I’d be writing the novels not covering them in red ink”
I thought I’d be making the Hanukkah movies with gay characters not watching them for a high review.
Life takes us fun places.
Riese: One day you will be making the Hanukkah movies with gay characters.
Drew: That sounded negative. I love this job. I’m high watching a movie for work.
Riese: That’s true not a bad gig.
Drew: I’m just salty because my very trans short keeps getting rejected from the big straight festivals and I’m about to turn 30 so I need to have a little crisis.
Riese: I did think, personally, that I too would be writing the novels by the age of 30
and yet I have done no such thing
Drew: I want to do this AND make movies
Riese: Same!! I want to do this AND write a novel.
Drew: I’ll never be too famous to not high watch a Hanukkah movie with you for this site.
Riese: THANK YOU DREW.
That means so much to me.
Drew: It’ll get even more clicks if I’m famous.
Imagine how fun it would be if you were doing this with like Desiree Akhavan right now.
Riese: I don’t know her though and I know you.
Drew: Right but I’d still be me.
Riese: Honestly these parents are cool.
Even though they have glass vases of bath beads.
Drew: Is the drama that the lesbian sister is doing Hanukkah at her wife’s next year? There are eight nights. Split ’em, babe.
Riese: Yeah four and four.
Drew: Even if the other parents lived far you could do three and three with two days off for travel/recovery.
Riese: True, an easy split.
Riese: This is so quiet for a Jewish event!!!
Everybody should be screaming!
Drew: It’s true !
So much more screaming
Drew: Autostraddle writer Christina Tucker was just saying “there should be more romcoms about loneliness” and I think this is that.
She was saying that during While You Were Sleeping.
I was in Philly most of today.
Riese: Well that’s adorable
Drew: This actor playing Zach The Love Interest is in something.
Also I don’t know who he is or why he’s at this party.
He has Dungeons and Dragon dice! We had such a good piece about that this week.
Riese: We did!
It’s all connected.
Drew: Wait okay but who is this actor?
At first I thought he was one of the British men who has dirty gay sex in God’s Own Country. But it’s not.
Riese: I’ll look him up
Drew: I’ll have Elise do it. She’s next to me.
Oh Zach is at the party because he teaches art with Grandma Rosie.
They’re not related
Drew: I love this dad actor
Riese: Yeah he’s a star of Suits, Louis Litt!
Drew: He is?? Should I watch Suits? What’s it about?
Riese: Lawyers who have papers in manilla envelopes.
Drew: You know, a lot of Jewish dads, even the straight ones, tend to be a little fruity.
Riese: Yes Jewish dads are lazy femmes
Drew: Wow that is a beautiful dreidel that Grandma is giving to Rachel.
When is someone going to give me some fancy Jewish stuff?
Riese: I had a Jewish boyfriend who got me a Tiffany’s bracelet.
I think that’s fancy jewish stuff
Riese: Ok so I have a theory which is that I think maybe Hallmark Christmas movies can’t just become Hallmark Hanukkah movies.
Drew: No Hanukkah movies should be louder !!!
Riese: Right because like the culture of a Jewish family event is just not quite this.
There is not enough Jewish energy here.
Drew: My family gatherings are like straight Transparent.
Riese: Yes exactly.
Drew: Your mom is gay.
Riese: That’s true.
So my family gatherings are just Transparent.
But if Shelly was the only character.
Drew: Is the rest of your family as gay as the Transparent family?
Riese: No, just my mom and me. My brother is straight.
Drew: Good for him!
Riese: Omg a burning bush! i mean burning curtains!
Drew: Fire special effects!
Riese: Wow even the fire was quiet!!!
Drew: I want you to know I’m watching this on my new 4k TV.
As I’m sure it was intended to be watched.
Riese: You’re getting the full Hanukkah experience
Drew: AND the TV is on the credenza Elise just redid.
It was $20 from Out of the Closet and Elise redid it and it’s beautiful now.
Riese: Oh wow you’re experiencing the magic of the cinema.
You came to your own apartment for magic.
UH OH SHE WAKES UP AND IT’S THE SAME DAY
Drew: WAIT WHAT
It’s a Groundhog Day??????
Riese: Omg it’s like Groundhog’s Day but Seventh Night of Hanukkah
Drew: ITS A GROUNDHOG DAY????
Riese: Now I have another chance to understand the plot and why her boyfriend and also Zach were at the train station with the christmaz blazer singer.
Drew: Wow I am so happy it’s a groundhog day.
Drew: Her boyfriend Adam is bad.
I think if she tells off Adam and falls for Zach, then she’ll break this time loop
Riese: Or if she catches a jelly donut in her mouth
Drew: Can you imagine !
How did she drop the donuts again??
Riese: Just a Klutzy Kathy!!!!!!
Wait ok so just to be clear
Never mind I don’t understand.
Drew: It’s a Groundhog Day. Have you seen Groundhog’s Day?
Riese: I saw it in theaters Drew!
Riese: But where was her boyfriend? Was he lying about being sick?
Drew: He was lying !
Riese: How do we know he’s lying
Drew: Because he’s a jerk.
He said he was sick but was out on the town.
And then told the music man he had no change.
Riese: He does not love her a latke.
Drew: He does not. He abhorahs her.
Riese: I wish someone would tell me they were stuck in a timeloop.
I would be so excited if my friend was stuck in a time loop.
Drew: I would LOVE to be the sidekick in a body swap or groundhog day
Riese: I would have SUCH a good time.
I just read a time loop book: Before I Fall.
Drew: Oh I saw the movie adaptation of that!
Riese: Make out with Bex. There’s sexual tension
Drew: Wait so the lesbian with the dyed blonde hair is married to the sister?
Riese: Yes. Her name is Bex. The pregnant sister is Shoshanna. I looked it up.
Drew: Wow already a time loop days going by montage
Riese: I wish they’d bought a real 80s song.
I would love a right round baby right round
Drew: When they do comps like this though they get musicians to write them and it’s how up and coming musicians can make money.
So it’s good!
Riese: Oh that’s nice ok
Drew: This feels rushed.
Riese: Yeah it’s too early for a montage
We need to see her live through this day again one full time at least before a montage
Drew: This movie should be two hours not 80 minutes.
Movies should be longer
Riese: Yeah five hour movies.
Then it’s like $4 an hour.
Drew: Chantal Akerman was Jewish.
She made long movies
Riese: a two-hour movie is $10/hour, so better rate for a longer movie.
Drew: Oh wow they’re doing references.
It’s like Scream or in the body swap movie I wrote when my character mentions The Hot Chick.
Riese: Everybody’s hair is too gentile. Nobody has frizzy curls.
Drew: My mom and sister’s dream.
Riese: I wish my mom was making me latkes right now
Drew: Me too.
Riese: Wow her fate is to drop the donuts.
Riese: This man should have glasses and curlier hair!!!!!
Drew: Idk he feels really Jewish to me.
Judaism can look like so much.
Riese: Yeah it really can.
It can look like me, even
But the actor playing Zach is named Bryan Greenberg so.
So he is for sure Jewish
Drew: That would’ve been my last name if my grandpa didn’t change it to avoid antisemitism
Riese: That’s so real.
Drew: Drew Greenberg is like… no thank you. But maybe that is internalized antisemitism
Drew: I have a theory that I don’t want FFS because it feels weird to get rid of my nose.
I’m like who decides what is feminine? Why isn’t a big Jewish nose feminine?
Riese: Yeah I feel like I am not allowed to comment on this topic.
Drew: Lmao smart
Riese: So I am just nodding supportively and letting you know that I support you keeping your face or changing your face if that’s what you want.
Drew: My new plan is to find a doctor who will crush my jaw and forehead and cheeks and whatever but let me keep my crooked Jewish nose.
Riese: Well i bet you can find a Jewish doctor to do that.
Drew: Although Elise has pointed out that I only talk about wanting plastic surgery after I’ve recently visited my family. As long as Jewish families are on topic.
Drew: Wait, I love that Rachel writes fantasy and Zach loves fantasy. That’s sweet.
Riese: Yeah that is cute.
Drew: Wow they left the house.
Riese: They’re at Zach’s friends comic book shop! They invested in another set.
Riese: Do you know that they have a village?
Drew: On-set? Yeah video village
Drew: Oh wait. Like a Hallmark village where they film all their movies?
Riese: Yeah I think I read that somewhere.
Riese: Who is that woman at the family Hanukkah party by the way? The British one.
Drew: I don’t know! I just asked Elise.
She didn’t know either.
Riese: Is she married to someone in Rachel’s family?
Drew: I think she’s a family friend
Riese: Oh ok like in The Bear.
Drew: Yes. Wow what a great episode.
Riese: Yeah I was just thinking about sitting there with my mouth open for an hour.
Drew: That’s more my family gatherings than this.
Riese: Yes 100%
Drew: Remember Russian Doll?
Great show. I think that’s my favorite groundhog day.
Riese: That was a great show.
Drew: Sweet birthday baby.
I turn 30 in two weeks. Soon I’m going to be the sweet birthday baby.
Riese: Well, i for one am so pleased that you are alive and thus experiencing birthdays of advanced age.
Riese: Is this a gay bar?
Drew: Anything can be a gay bar
Drew: Depending on what you do in the bathrooms
Riese: Poppers or dreidel
Drew: Wait, the boyfriend bailed on her to dance alone? He’s not even cheating??
Riese: Uh huh just to hang with his cool friends
Drew: Just bros being guys.
Riese: He probs has no idea that she has such a chill hanukkah house
nobody is going to lick their finger and wipe schmutz off his face at Rachel’s house
Drew: Yeah they seem like easy parents to meet
Riese: And her Dad was in Suits!
Riese: Is he sitting? Is he sitting down to break up with her?
Drew: I think he is.
Riese: Stand up!!!!
Get on your feet!
Get up and make it happen!!
Drew: I’ve never broken up with someone sitting down. Wait except my first serious girlfriend but then we got back together and then she broke up with me.
Riese: Were you both sitting? It’s just that she was standing up and he was sitting down.
Drew: The first time? Yes in Central Park. The second time idk I was in bed and she broke up with me via text message. She could’ve been standing.
Riese: Those sure are different approaches to a breakup.
Drew: Lmao yeah summed up our approaches to the relationship as well.
Drew: God this would be SO FUN!
Imagine you’re going to a hanukkah party.
And then you meet a pretty girl who is like “I’m in a groundhog day.”
Drew: And now you’re at a bar with her? Working through stuff.
Riese: Wait except how does that work because I am in the day with her
What happens to me
My consciousness has to be moving forward right
It’ll start over
Riese: Ugh I don’t know how to do a time loop
Drew: I no longer want to be the sidekick. I want to be the love interest.
Anyway, the new guy is so much cuter.
Riese: Yeah. The boyfriend looks like he would’ve gone out with Samantha Jones for one date in 2003 because he had one (1) good quality.
Drew: Lol yes.
Riese: Is she gonna break groundhog curse by staying up late?
Drew: I have no idea where the movie is. Like if we’re midway. Or it’s almost done
Riese: Me neither.
Drew: I love bagels
Riese: Omg. We have 34 more minutes.
I love bagels too
Drew: Oh that’s not bad.
I was worried we were ten minutes in.
Riese: Yeah that felt possible.
Drew: This is working on me. Zach and Rachel have chemistry. He’s cute.
Riese: THEY MENTIONED PAPER GIRLS! Wow whomever wrote this screenplay likes a lot of cool things.
Drew: If I was stuck in a time loop I wouldn’t think time loop fictions would help.
Riese: I would. I read like 50 dystopian novels at the start of the pandemic
Drew: What did you learn?
Riese: I cured covid
Drew: She should try kissing Zach. Maybe that’ll do it.
Riese: Yeah that might help.
If Rachel was gay she could write for us.
“I Stole My Sister’s Wife While She Was Pregnant”
Drew: Bex can. “YNH: I Think My Sister-in-Law Is Flirting With Me (And Also Stuck In a Time Loop)”
Riese: What is Bex’s job?
Riese: I think she works at REI
Drew: Don’t they have to get to the Hanukkah party at some point on this day?
In this version are the parents just alone?
Riese: Yeah but in time loops it’s ok to just let your Sims wander around the house one of the days.
Drew: I do think I’d do one crazy one. Or maybe I’d be scared it would stop
Riese: Right, what if you stopped on cocaine day
and blew a hole in your nose
Drew: Aw Zach loves Rachel’s book! He’s illustrating it!
This is nice.
Riese: Her book is a hit!
Drew: Imagine someone reading your book at a party.
And not in 3-6 months.
Riese: Ok Zach is a little gay.
Not like gay for men.
But like “dude that’s so gay.”
Drew: The best kind of straight guy
Riese: Yes he’s sensitive.
Drew: Someday he’ll be a vaguely gay straight Jewish dad.
Riese: Ugh those latkes look so good. I want a large cookie.
I realize we should be explaining more about what’s happening in the movie so people know what we are talking about
Drew: Nah they’ll get it. Our readers are sharp.
Riese: Her dad is lying on her bed in such a gay way
Bex is rubbing off on them
Drew: Oh Dad says there was another woman before her Mom!
Riese: He was dumped right before Halloween?
Riese: He’d sworn off love by Hanukkah!!!
Like her dad, I always think about my moods vis a vis their distance from Hanukkah
Also like her dad I think about my breakups in relation to halloween
Riese: They want her to step outside her comfort zone so i think she should go to belarus
Drew: I’ve never been!
Riese: Right i don’t think she has either
Drew: There are so many places I’ve never been
Drew: The lesbians really aren’t in this a lot
Riese: No this is two straight girls sitting on a bed talking about boys.
Drew: She’s not very close with her sister.
She’s closer with her cousin.
The straight/gay divide
Riese: She has to get the donuts home
Drew: To fix the time loop they need to eat a donut like lady and the tramp.
Riese: Oh good call.
This is a great set.
Drew: I love sets.
Riese: I love Disneyworld.
Riese: These characters really do not understand how to do a time loop.
By this point Zach should’ve told her like one thing he’s never told anybody.
Drew: Right haha
Riese: It would make this so much easier.
Drew: This has had some good jokes.
I’m glad this is a groundhog day. I had no idea
Riese: I wish a mom or grandma would yell something embarrassing about one of their children so this would feel more authentically Jewish
maybe just one like, “you never call, you never write”
Riese: Did you have different themes for different nights of Hanukkah?
Drew: No! Themes?? Like under the sea?
Riese: Oh god that would’ve been epic but not like that.
Like one night was the night we had neighborhood Hanukkah and did a Secret Santa gift exchange, at the Tylers’ house, there were like five Jewish families on my block and all the kids were the same age.
Another night was the night we got calendars for the next year.
One night was when we gave presents to lower income people and did not get presents.
One night was clothes. One night was hand-made gifts for each other?
Drew: Oh yeah we had that more with Passover.
Different nights different traditions
Riese: The energy in the comic book shop guy’s van is Jewish I’m on board
Omg the bakery lady knows Rachel’s grandma!
I hope these old ladies hooked up on the kibbutz in college
Riese: Wow Zach and Rachel bumped into each other a tiny bit in the van and acted like they’d just accidentally conceived a child
Drew: That is how it’s done.
I appreciate that they kissed before the end. Sometimes they just do one kiss at the end.
Riese: Yeah it would’ve been better if they’d gone to a role-playing sex party but I’m glad that they kissed.
Drew: Once the boyfriend was dumped he showed up! Ego!
Riese: Do you love her a latke or no?
a question all Jews should ask themselves.
Drew: The boyfriend also seems gay.
Riese: Do you think we think everyone is gay because they are or because we are or because we are high or because of Jewish?
Drew: These are great questions.
I think I tend to think everyone is gay.
Because so many people around me are gay.
Riese: He seems so gay! Like he would be a hairdresser in another Christmas movie!
Drew: Good for him!
Drew: Zach doesn’t wanna be her “Timeloop Rebound”
Riese: That’s a good name for a movie
or a basketball team
Drew: Why are they being sad?
Riese: Yeah cut it out.
We didn’t make the oil burn for eight (8) nights just to have you standing there being sad.
are there candles that burn for 8 days
Drew: No you light new ones every night
Riese: Ok I know
But I mean
Is there a giant candle
That burns for 8 days
I am describing a lamp
Drew: Imagine being like “I can’t do timeloop with you anymore.”
Riese: I would never!!!!!
Oh now Zach’s got a yamaka on. Shit is getting serious.
Riese: Rachel should eat the driedel
Or stick it up her boyfriend’s butt
I bet that would break the time loop
It would break something
Drew: Grandma knows about the magic driedel?? She’s a witch!
Riese: Yeah grandma has powers.
Drew: That’s fun.
Riese: Do adults play dreidel?
Drew: If they’re young at heart.
please note that this next section is a major spoiler for “Round and Round” so if you want to watch it, stop reading now!!!
Drew: Did she break the loop??
Riese: SHE’S FREE! Like Willy.
Riese: Wow the dad from Suits knew about the dreidel ALL THIS TIME
omg everyone in the family has found their soulmate on seventh night of hanukkah time loop
Drew: Now THIS is a twist
Riese: This is like Gone Girl level twist
SHOW US THE MOVIE OF BEX AND SHOSHANNA GROUNDHOG DAY
Drew: I WANT
I love that the message is “true love takes time” instead of “love at first sight.”
Riese: Yes that is nice.
Why are santas
She couldn’t take the risk of letting her true self shine.
Oh now she can choose who to time loop!
I hope she chooses you.
Drew: What lesson would I be learning?
Or is it soulmate specific.
I don’t think I believe in soulmates
Riese: Hmmm hard to say
Drew: Also does the magic dreidel only match Jews together?
Riese: Yes, it’s an arm of the state.
Birthright time loop.
Drew: Horror movie where I’m trying to stay with Elise but the magic dreidel is being weird about bloodlines.
Riese: Omg a flashback montage! Wow, I love cinema.
Drew: He’s remembering everything that happened in all the other versions of this day!!
Riese: I’m so happy for this girl and her not-Jewish hair.
Drew: Wow some actual good kissing.
Riese: Omg all of the elderly people are watching them kiss i love it
Drew: What is this jacket on Bex??
Riese: Everybody’s in their Sabbath Best
Drew: Wait I just realized… per family tradition someday that little kid is going to be terrorized by the magic dreidel.
Drew: Wow and that’s the end of the movie. We did it.
Riese: We fixed the time loop!
24 hours later…
Drew: The lead of Round and Round is nonbinary??
I didn’t even know they were queer!
Drew: Yes !!!
We believed they were just RACHEL
Riese: ER Fightmaster follows them on insta?? Wow they really are gay.
Drew: We need to add this to the convo.
Riese: Yes. No wonder they had so much chemistry with Bex.
Round and Round is available on the Hallmark Channel.