Sunday, September 09, 2012

Seres Queridos (Only Human, 2004) ***½

     Leni (Marian Aguilera) and Rafi (Guillermo Toledo) are freshly in love, and since both live in Spain they are unconcerned with the fact that Leni is Jewish and Rafi is Palestinian.  Hell still breaks loose, though, when they visit Leni’s family for the first time.  Things are uncomfortable enough with Leni’s Israeli-army veteran grandfather, her controlling mother, her horny sister, and her newly religious brother, but when an accident occurs, things really get out of control.
A Spanish, screwball comedy about the Arab-Israeli conflict sounds like a long shot, but “Only Human” makes it work.  The comedic cast keeps the outrageous story crackling along.  Guillermo Toledo is especially good in his straight-man role, and it is with him that we identify as we bump along from one crazy situation to the next.  He reminds me of Ben Stiller in “Meet the Parents.”  The message of the movie, “Love conquers all,” isn’t exactly groundbreaking, and I don’t think any light is ultimately shed on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but it’s a fun time.

3.5 stars out of 5

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