What is considered appropriate speech today? Justin Long (Dodgeball, He's Just Not That into You) stars as Josh Cohen, a 38-year-old Brooklyn man-child who tries to find out. Just beginning his career as a creative writing professor, Josh hits a snag when a student, in light of #MeToo, takes offense at something he says in class. His very public reckoning, which occurs while his family is reeling from the declining health of his beloved grandmother, creates a candid, frank, sometimes painful and often humorous view on the comedy of errors that is coming-of-age (whatever that age may be) in an era of changing values. As Josh reckons with the fact that he's moving into an era where he is no longer in the vanguard, he and his siblings navigate the fact that their future-not to mention their present-is no longer as well-defined as they might have hoped and that success is always relative. A comedic take on the current climate, Safe Spaces proves that despite all the changes, having a loving family at your side can make any awkwardness at least slightly more bearable. The film also features classic standout performers like Fran Drescher (The Nanny) and Richard Schiff (The West Wing) as lovingly neurotic divorced parents alongside newcomers like LA comedian Kate Berlant (Sorry to Bother You). A classic depiction of age-old Jewish guilt and a New York City comedy through and through for the new generation. And, yes, there will be mentions of hashtags. - Maya Lekach
next wave spotlight reception
Saturday, July 20 | following screening
Admission limited to Next Wave passholders
Following the film Safe Spaces, SFJFF Next Wave community members are invited to the lounge for snacks. Bay Area made House Kombucha bottles, and Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktails. Reflect on the current social climate, rising coies, and exciting endeavors in Jewish cinema, or just schmooze and kibbitz with other festivalgoers on the Castro mezzanine!
Director Daniel Schechter in person in San Francisco and Palo Alto