Only Human

Film
THE MALE GAZE Toledo, left, scopes out the situation.
THE MALE GAZE Toledo, left, scopes out the situation.

Time Out says

Moviegoers have met celluloid Palestinians in a number of recent films, from the suicide bombers of Paradise Now to the PLO terrorists of Munich. But the boyfriend in Only Human offers sweet comic relief: He’s an endearingly funny Palestinian nebbish. Rafi (Toledo) teaches Arabic literature at a Barcelona university and is engaged to Leni (Aguilera), an attractive Jewish TV host; the film unfolds over the course of one ill-fated evening when Leni brings an apprehensive Rafi home to meet her eccentric and unsuspecting family. Leni’s high-strung mother (Aleandro) freaks out; her kid brother, a zealous convert to Orthodoxy, is too busy lighting Sabbath candles to catch on; and her sister (Botto), a belly dancer and single mom, thinks “fucking the enemy” is just what Leni needs.

Things really get out of hand when Rafi, trying to be of some use in the kitchen, accidentally drops a block of frozen soup from the window and knocks out a passing pedestrian—possibly Leni’s father. A fast-moving farce executed with brio by the ensemble, Only Human plays like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as directed by Pedro Almodvar from a screenplay by Woody Allen. (Opens Fri; click here for venues.)—Tom Beer

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