Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in This Is 40; Bette Midler in Parental Guidance; Barbra Streisand in The Guilt Trip(Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures; Phil Caruso/Twentieth Century Fox; Paramount Pictures)

Today on Tablet, J. Hoberman reviews three Jewish comedies being released at Christmastime:

But just what is a comedy? Their nominal happy endings notwithstanding, all three movies reek of male failure. Perhaps because they are played by beloved icons Streisand and Midler, the Jewish mothers in The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance are wacky and endearing. What’s more, however annoying the advice, their wisdom is essentially right; the best that could be said for the Jewish men is oy vey. The Jewish father in This Is 40 (Paul Rudd) is in danger of going broke and having to sell his house, in part because he is helping to supporthis supremely feckless father (Albert Brooks); the Job-like Jewish son (Rogen) in The Guilt Trip can’t keep a girlfriend or successfully market his idea for a “green” household cleanser; the Jewish grandfather in Parental Guidance (Crystal) has lost his job and possibly his mind. Not a “Hebrew Hammer” among them.

Read up here before you buy your tickets.