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Movie Review: The Bubble (Ha-Buah)

Alternate Title: Paradise Lost

Story: Yes Virginia, there are homosexuals in the Middle East contrary to what President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said about their non-existence in Iran. This breezy, uneven slice of Israeli - Palestinian life was written and directed by Eytan Fox and screams lovingly to the contrary.

A male Israeli Army reservist meets a Palestinian man at a checkpoint. Fast forward, they fall in love, work towards peace in the Middle East in some curious and humorous ways and generally have one heck of a time. The many problems between the two cultures rears its ugly head into their lives ever so often to spoil what might be called paradise.

All of the young people in the film are beautiful, dedicated to peace, love and tock 'n roll. Seeing a film like this allows non-Israeli's to see life as it exists in the real world instead of just the aftermath of the suicide bombings and checkpoint horrors that we are normally exposed to across the wires.

I don't want to burst anyone's bubble but the Middle East dilemma is going to take a lot more than love to fix its problems. That said, if you like to watch beautiful young people, see a side of the Middle East most of us never see - check out this entertaining, though flawed film.

Acting: Ohad Knoller,as the Israeli soldier is adorable, and a fine young actor. Yousef Sweid, as the Palestinian love interest was also good. The ensemble cast were all earnest and really fine to look at. including:, Daniela Wircer (Lulu), Alon Friedmann (Yali), Roba Blal (Rana) and Shredy Jabarin (Jihad).

Predilection: None

Critters: None

Food: Yummy looking dishes including sweet potato pancakes, red ripe tomatoes and lots of veggies.

Sex Spectrum: There is no Full Monty but plenty of male on male sex, some hinted female, female sex and one scene of heterosexual sex.

Blatant Product Placement: Time Out Tel Aviv magazine.

Soundtrack: Fun and appropriate.

Opening Titles: The opening scene is a very dramatic incident at a checkpoint and belies most of the rest of the tone of the film.

Visual Art: My oh my, the Israeli people are beautiful.

Theater Audience: All men, except me.

Weather: It was nice in Tel Aviv and in Nablus.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The entire Middle East situation makes me squirm.

Drift Factor: It was long and cried out for editing.

Predictability Level: High for me.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: A little over the two hour rule.