By Dennis Tavernetti
“The Matchmaker” from The World Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Sunday, April 15 at 6 p.m.
Synopsis: Arik, a teenage boy growing up in Haifa in 1968, gets a job working for Yankele Bride, a matchmaker. Yankele, a mysterious Holocaust survivor, has an office in back of a movie theater that shows only love stories. As Arik begins to learn the mysteries of the human heart through his work, he falls in love. The girl he loves has just returned from America and is full of talk of womens rights, free love and rock and roll. The disparate parts of Arik’s life collide in unexpected, often funny and very moving ways as he lives through a summer that changes him forever. The film mixes comedy with drama as it tells a coming-of-age story unlike any you’ve ever seen before.
Ratings & Reviews: The two leading film web sites give this film an IMDb rating of 7.1. Critics: Ferdi says it’s a “… wise and wonderful coming-of-age tale … teeming and brilliantly told story … performances are superlative and believable.” Jerusalem Post calls it “immensely pleasurable and moving … outstanding acting.”
Previewer’s Comment: This World film filmed in Israel (2010) is in Hebrew with English subtitles. It is a comedy at heart with very funny situations we would never imagine happening in our surroundings. It is the 1960’s and the memories of the Holocaust are only 20 years away and this is used in the film for us to remember that in spite of the past, we all need to move on, and what better way to move on than to find a new love to enjoy life and the future with. Of course how to do that is always a challenge, and perhaps a matchmaker approach is better than church groups and online dating. The truth is they all have very funny results and in this case a teenager gets an education as well. I could think of worse summer intern jobs.
Rated: Unrated, but can be considered likely to be PG-13.
“Reuniting The Rubins” from The Indie Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts on Wednesday, April 18, at 7 p.m.
Synopsis: An up-tight lawyer, Lenny Rubins, has to put his dream retirement on hold when his ailing mother emotionally blackmails him into reuniting his estranged children for a Jewish holiday. They may be peas from the same pod, but in Lenny’s eyes, his grown-up children are certainly not even from the same planet: a ruthless control-freak and hard-nosed capitalist; an outspoken, argumentative eco-warrior committed to the cause and an outer-worldly Buddhist Monk; and to cap it all, a Bible bashing born-again Rabbi. While they might quarrel and fight, they are still family. It is going to take a whole lot of soul searching and sacrifice for all involved to come together in this heartwarming, comic, family drama that will have you thinking of your own extended family with a smile.
Ratings & Reviews: The two leading film web sites give this film an IMDb rating of 5.2 (middle of the road) and Rotten Tomatoes audience rating of 67. Not a favorite of the critics due to its exaggerated personalities and situations that stretch the imagination, but audiences give it OK marks for an evening’s comic diversion.
Previewer’s Comment: This UK World film in English reminds us how diverse our families are and why we do not always look forward to family reunions. However, they give us fodder for laughs and angst for years after. Family reunions somehow take” keeping up with the Jones” to the next level, even more intense than your 20th high school reunion, which is mere child’s play. Not all films are intellectual journeys that provide great awakenings in our being. This film is just for fun; and although it doesn’t qualify as slap stick comedy, it is that type of film.
Tickets for adults are $7, seniors $6, students $5. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase tickets day of performance. The box office opens one hour before show time.