The World Is Funny | Chicago Reader

The World Is Funny

Even sexual fulfillment seems mawkish in this episodic Israeli feature, a collection of sitcom-ready interactions and achingly cute characters. The main characters are adult siblings estranged from one another: a single father whose older son has just awakened from a nine-year coma, a radio producer whose girlfriend is being treated for brain cancer, and a travel agent whose grown daughter has died in a military operation. Writer-director Shemi Zarhin approaches these tragic situations with a complacency worthy of Neil Simon, continually reassuring us that everything will turn out OK; so little here registers as genuinely painful or humorous that when the characters declare that laughter helps us through painful situations, even this mundane wisdom seems unearned. In Hebrew with subtitles.

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