The Wedding Plan

2016

Comedy / Romance

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 65%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 879

Synopsis


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1hr 50 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dallas_viewer 5 / 10

Meh

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

I like the premise of the movie, but the actual execution was a big let-down.

Maybe it's because I'm American and not familiar with the Israeli sense of humor (in the same way that French humor kind of baffles me). Or maybe something was lost in translation when the sub-titles were written. (The film is in Hebrew, and the copy I saw did not have English dubbing, so I relied on the sub-titles.)

Whatever, I did not find this film amusing or enjoyable.

The film was populated by a number of characters whom we barely got to know, let alone care about. I'm still not sure who a couple of them were.

And then Michal's rejection of the engineer suitor (I'll give her a pass on pop star suitor Yoss) made no sense to me. Well, to be clear, I think I get the expectation -- "Hashem will provide", right? and on the last night of Chanukah, to be specific -- but I didn't buy it. Because maybe Hashem sent these sudden new suitors Michal's way in answer to her prayer, that's how I see it. Maybe He thought His timing was wiser than hers?

But by Michal rejecting a perfectly good suitor because he does not meet her scheduled time frame, the movie is able to achieve what I assume is its main objective: to show that if you have enough faith in Hashem, He will provide, and exactly as you requested it.

As silly as this conceit is, perhaps a worse failing of the film is in the depiction of Michal. I found her to be an unlikable, unknowable character. We don't have any reason to root for her as the movie goes along. Bridget Jones is quirky, yet we see things about her that make her oddly likable. Ditto Muriel ("Muriel's Wedding"). But Michal? Not so much.

And frankly, her current Debbie-downer attitude notwithstanding, I don't know how it is Michal isn't already married when the movie starts. Are suitable brides so plentiful in her Hassidic community that no bridegroom could be found years ago? (When the movie opens, she is engaged, but to my knowledge they don't have long engagements, so I'm assuming she and the original fiancé had only been engaged a short time as the movie opened,and she's already over 30.) Is the fact she owns a mobile petting zoo a deal-breaker in her community?

Maybe there was something said that explained everything, but if there was, I missed it. It just seemed to me that the filmmaker did not provide the type of backstory or other information that would help folks like me understand how Michal comes to find herself in her current situation when the movie starts. Perhaps to Israeli viewers, though, it all makes sense.

The only other comments I have are:

1. I dislike it when actors sob but there are no tears to be seen. (Noa Koler, I'm looking at you.)

2. Shimi was very easy on the eyes. :-) The filmmaker should have focused more on Shimi's interactions with Michal, and their friendship, throughout the film.

Reviewed by proud_luddite 5 / 10

Rather disappionting

Michal (Noa Koler) is single, Orthodox Jewish woman in her thirties and living in Jerusalem. Desperate in her desire to be married, she arranges a wedding with the intent that God will help her find a groom in time for the ceremony.

Indeed, the premise is odd but it might have worked if director/writer Rama Burshtein had taken the approach of a comical farce. As the comical moments are too few and a more serious approach is used, the film falls flat by the second half even though it's fairly enjoyable in the earlier segments.

Koler is certainly likeable in the role but her character is repeatedly and annoyingly self-defeating. After a while, I had a "Cher/Moonstruck" fantasy where I wanted to bring Cher's character into this movie and slap Michal hard in the face twice and shout "Snap out of it" and then disappear and go back to "Moonstruck". (I also had this fantasy while watching the excruciatingly long "Zodiac". In that scenario, Cher's slap victim would have been the Jake Gyllenhaal character.)

By the time the conclusion rolls around, it doesn't seem to matter whether or not it is plausible. The rest of the movie before it had already lost momentum.

Reviewed by latka-2 8 / 10

Humorous, thought provoking, and spiritual look at a marriage decision

The movie centers around the decision of one Haredi (commonly called ultra-orthodox ) Israeli Jewish thirty-something woman's decision of if/when/whom to marry. She has been having trouble finding just the right person for herself, partly because of the men she has been meeting but partly because she is an unconventional woman in a number of ways. When her engagement is broken off , she has an unusual reaction which is the linchpin for the rest of the movie including an ending which may be surprising to some.

The movie was billed as a romantic comedy; there are indeed plenty of humorous moments, but I think it's real attraction is the issues it raises about the process of deciding to get married, what one is looking for and how it can be related to issues of faith. And although it involves the Haredi Jewish world, I think the insights and themes apply to other cultures as well , while at the same time the movie provides an entertaining window into the Haredi world.

The movie is very well directed and acted and went by quickly. Contraryto another review posted here, the audience I saw it clapped heartily at the end and lingered afterwards. Recommended.

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