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Entertainment

'May in the Summer' Movie Review: Arab American Family Comedy Amusing Enough

'May in the Summer' Movie Review: Arab American Family Comedy Amusing Enough
BY MIRIAM RINN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

Cherien Dabis is a woman of many talents. In addition to being the film’s writer/director, she has taken on the lead role in her gently amusing family comedy “May in the Summer.” A striking brunette, Dabis plays May Brennan, an American author with Arab roots who returns to Amman, Jordan to prepare for her upcoming wedding. Her devoutly Christian mother lives there, and May’s two sisters have also traveled to Amman from the U.S. for the wedding. May’s fiance, a Muslim scholar of contemporary Arab culture, is still in New York, however, and not scheduled to arrive for a few days. That gives May, her anti-Muslim mother, her giddy sisters, and her estranged American diplomat father plenty of time to get into variously silly and serious situations, which arise partially from the clash of West and East and partly from the mundane trauma of going home to your nutty family.

Dabis’s last feature “Amreeka” dealt with a Palestinian woman who comes to the U.S. to build a new life for her son, and in the unfortunately titled “May in the Summer” an American woman makes the return trip. May and her sisters are Westernized young women with higher educations and tight jeans who find themselves in a society that while modern is still ambivalent about women’s self determination. May runs every morning through the streets of Amman to the shocked or leering reactions of the people she passes. Her sister Yasmine (Nadine Malouf) has left her marketing job in murky circumstances and is spending her time partying in Amman. Her other sister Dalia (Alia Shawkat) has never had a boyfriend and seems to have no interest in finding one.

 

'Poor Behavior' Off Broadway Review: A Miserable Weekend

'Poor Behavior' Off Broadway Review: A Miserable Weekend
BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Playwright Theresa Rebeck invites us to spend a lousy weekend in a country house with two middle-aged couples as they argue, swill bad wine, eat disgusting muffi...

THE GIVER: Not by the Book, but Worth a Look

THE GIVER: Not by the Book, but Worth a Look
BY NANCY R. MANDELL
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

As I write this, it’s hard to drown out the chorus of carping voices complaining that the movie version of THE GIVER is a pale attempt to bring this...

2015 SummerSlam: 5 Things to Know

2015 SummerSlam:  5 Things to Know
BY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Summerslam 2014 took place at the Staples Center in California for the sixth year in a row Sunday night. The Summerslam storylines usually set the tone for WWE’s road t...

'When the Game Stands Tall' Movie Review: Team-First Theme Should Resonate As High School Football Season Opens

'When the Game Stands Tall' Movie Review: Team-First Theme Should Resonate As High School Football Season Opens
BY JERRY MILANI
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

The high school football season is nearly upon us, and New Jersey holds its own, particularly in the Northeast, in several national preseason polls. As many alums o...

'Revolution In the Elbow ...' Off Broadway Review: An Oddball Epic

'Revolution In the Elbow ...' Off Broadway Review: An Oddball Epic
BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

A curious piece of musical bric-a-brac, “Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter” is perched at the Minetta Lane Theater, although one doub...

MOVIE REVIEW: Sequel "The Trip to Italy" Even More Fun

MOVIE REVIEW: Sequel
BY MIRIAM RINN
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
MOVIE REVIEW

If you can’t get to Italy this year, Michael Winterbottom’s film “The Trip to Italy” is almost as rewarding. Albeit vicariously, you will certainly eat m...

'Phoenix' Off Broadway Review: Burn, Baby, Burn

'Phoenix' Off Broadway Review: Burn, Baby, Burn
BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

One wonders whether “Phoenix,” like the mythological creature, would emerge from the ashes as a far better play if one could only burn Scott Organ’s lousy script...

'King Lear' Off Broadway Review: Disappointment at the Delacorte

'King Lear' Off Broadway Review: Disappointment at the Delacorte
BY MICHAEL SOMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

King Lear and I go back a long way. “King Lear” was my first experience with Shakespeare. I met Lear at the Stratford Festival when I was nine years old and he w...

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