By Arwad Khalifeh
I watched Lebanese filmmakers Sophie Boutros and Nadia Eliewat's new romcom, "Solitaire," last week and I still get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I think about it.
The movie is so beautifully written, combining a wonderful sense of humor with just the right amount of emotional content, that's enough to bring tears to your eyes without having you reach for tissues while everyone else reaches for their popcorn.
In the words of its creators, the movie revolves around "Therese, the mayor's wife in a Lebanese village, who joyfully prepares for an overnight visit of her daughter's suitor and his parents. She excitedly shares the happy news of the engagement with pictures of her beloved brother who was killed by a Syrian bomb 20 years ago and is still bizarrely present in every corner of her house. Only when the long-awaited guests are at her doorstep, she discovers they are Syrian; this engagement will only happen over Therese's dead body!"
Via Dubai International Film Festival
At the risk of blurting out spoilers, there's much more to the plot than "Arab on Arab prejudice."
An unpredictable twist and turn of events will make you question your own love life, morals and perspective on life.
With that being said, the brilliant script couldn't have been brought to life without its wonderful (and very well-selected) cast.
"Solitaire" - aka "Mahbas" - stars Julia Kassar (Therese), Ali El Khalil (Maurice), Bassam Kousa (Riad), Nadine Khoury (Nazek), Betty Taoutal (Solange - my fave character), Serena Chami (Ghada), Jaber Jokhadar (Samer), Said Serhan (Marwan) and Daniel Balaban (Imad).
Besides the great acting and picturesque filming locations, the film's music was literally music to my ears.
Composed by Ziad Boutros, la musique was a blend of beauty, passion and joy with sprinkles of magic.
All in all, I rate the film a 10 out of 10.
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