Tackling the heavy subject matter of an interfaith relationship between a Muslim and a Jew, Roschdy Zem, wearing two hats here as both director and lead actor, approaches his subject matter from a comedic angle, lightening the political and spiritual load of his film's premise. Zem plays Ishmael, a non-practicing Muslim with a Jewish best friend, who's been living with equally non-practicing Jewish girlfriend Clara (the lovely Cécile De France, also seen at SIFF this year in The Singer opposite Gerard Depardieu) for four years without religion being an issue. All that changes, though, when Clara gets pregnant. Suddenly, religious matters seem more important: Clara hangs a mezuzah (Jewish good luck symbol) on the doorway of their apartment; Ishmael insists that if the baby is a boy, he will be named after his father -- though he doesn't even like his father's name.

To further complicate matters, even after four years of living together, neither of them has told their parents about who they are dating. Having a baby on the way forces the issue, though -- they can no longer hide this potentially explosive issue from their families. Clara, when questioned by her parents about the identity of her mystery boyfriend -- is he a good Jewish boy? a Christian? -- will only reply that "he's French, like us." In a Guess Who's Coming to Dinner-esque scene, Clara decides to spring Ishmael on her family by inviting him to their house for dinner. Clara's father, opening the door to Ishmael holding a bouquet of flowers intended for Clara, mistakenly assumes that Ishmael is the delivery boy (yes, that's been done before, a lot, and it's just as predictable here as when we've seen it elsewhere, but that's a minor quibble).

categories Reviews, Cinematical