Even though Israel has a thriving film industry, is rare the film that makes it outside the country’s borders. Consider the last two Israeli flicks to make the arthouse rounds: Big Bad Wolves (psychopaths) and Sand Storm (arranged marriages). Not only they didn’t get any tracking. Both were bleak as flint.
The Wedding Plan breaks the mold in more ways than one. At first sight, it looks like a traditional rom-com, but carries more pathos than Katherine Heigl’s entire filmography. Michal (fantastic newcomer Noa Koler) is blindsided by her fiancé when he reveals his lack of affection for her. Out of stubbornness and religious overconfidence, Michal decides to continue with the preparations. God shall provide the groom.
Her plan is less insane that it sounds: Sometimes a deadline helps get the feet moving. There is no lack of suitors, but they all come short. As the clock ticks down, panic takes over family and friends, but Michal remains steadfast in her belief in divine intervention.
If The Wedding Plan had been made in Hollywood, odds are Michal would be portrayed as a wacky Amy Schumer-type. Instead, we have a believable heroine in a tough spot who refuses to betray her convictions. The religious factor acts as added difficulty: Michal is an orthodox Jew who wishes to marry within her faith, which narrows the dating pool considerably.
Any shrewd filmgoer will figure out The Wedding Plan’s endgame midway through. It doesn’t matter. There is a sweetness and honesty to the proceedings that elevate the movie above what the genre has us expecting. 3/5 planets.
The Wedding Plan is now playing at the RPL in Regina and the Broadway in Saskatoon.