Late Marriage
Family crisis. Zaza's romance with Judith must end (Ashkenazi and Elikabetz)
Hatouna Mehuheret

dir-scr Dover Kosashvili
with Lior Ashkenazi, Ronit Elikabetz, Mori Moshonov, Lili Koshashvili, Sapir Kugman
release UK 18.Jan.02
01/Israel 1h40

4 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E

Examining themes of family and cultural expectations, this gentle romantic comedy is both entertaining and touching. Zaza (Ashkenazi) is a 31-year-old philosophy student who has yet to find a wife, something that mortifies his parents (Moshonov and Koshashvili). They're Georgians living in Israel and tradition dictates that Zaza find a virginal young bride ... but he hasn't liked anyone his parents have handpicked (or they haven't liked him). Instead, he has fallen in love with Judith (Elikabetz), a 34-year-old divorcee with a cheeky young daughter (Kugman). Scandal! When his parents find out, they rally the relatives to take drastic action.

Writer-director Kosashvili has a sure touch with the material, letting the characters and situations speak for themselves and never cutting them short. As a result, the overall film feels like a series of extended scenes from real life, caught on camera unawares (the extended bed scene between Zaza and Judith is amazingly natural and intimate without ever becoming voyeuristic). And while the subject matter is deadly serious, every sequence brims with earthy humour and warmth, often in the most surprising places. Some of it is laugh-out-loud hilarious, while other bits are almost painful to watch. But it's never remotely artificial and it engages us on several levels. This is one of those films that transports us to a place and culture we can hardly imagine, but it also touches on universal themes we deal with every day. How much of what we do is determined by our cultural heritage? How do we cope with the gap between generations? How do we find the best person to spend our life with?
adult themes and situations, nudity, language cert 18 14.Jan.02

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall