Is That You? (2014)
Cast includes: Alon Aboutboul (The Dark Knight Rises), Rani Blair (Shvita), Naruna Kaplan de Macedo (Senses)
Director: Dani Menkin (Je T'aime, I Love You Terminal)
Genre: Drama (81 minutes) Mostly English with parts in Hebrew with subtitles
"Testing 1-2-3." "What about that clapboard like in Hollywood?" This isn't a Hollywood production... it's Myla's independent film project, asking ordinary people to talk about their regrets. In the meantime, on the other side of the world in Israel... Ronnie gets fired from his job as a film projectionist. Maybe it's finally time to do something he's never done before... fly. His brother Jacob meets him at the airport, and the whirlwind update of the American family takes off in rapid-fire Hebrew. Jacob's son Michael now thinks he wants to join the Israeli Army... Golani (the elite unit) even though he doesn't even speak Hebrew. It's all about big-breasted girls! "Maybe you can talk to him." Anyway, a funny thing happened two weeks ago, Sunday... "She wanted to rent a car from me." She looked familiar, so Jacob asked her name. "Rachel. Rachel Golan... I told her, you were my brother's girlfriend." "Are you kidding?" says Ronnie. "No way... She asked about you... like she cared."
Michael is a computer nerd... and "There's nothing I can't find." So the search for Rachel finally turns up a Rachel with a birthday in two days. That could be her. "We can write something to her..." "No, no, no," says Ronnie. But Michel writes anyway... "Dear Rachel, Is that you? We haven't been in touch for a long time." Then he suggest, "We can spice it up a bit..." Ronnie's ok with "Is that you?"...it's not very spicy, but...well... ok. Later, Jacob goes through a pile of old home movies looking for Rachel. He finds the one with a group of friends at the beach. Ronnie and Jacob were "beautiful" back then, as were all their friends. But Rachel... there was no one like Rachel. "You used to mumble her name in your sleep." In fact, after Rachel left, they measured every woman against Rachel. "Your son found her address and gave it to me," says Ronnie. "You're really doing it, you crazy motherfucker, ha!" "We made a funny promise... to be together on her 60th birthday."
So Ronnie sets out. Along the way, he meets up with Myla, who's still making her movie... The Road Not Taken... and wants Ronnie to be in it. Of all her subjects, Ronnie is the most reluctant, but Myla is very persistent... charmingly persistent... aggravatingly persistent. "I'm going to find a woman I didn't see for more than 40 years. Her name is Rachel." "I'm going to help you find her," says Myla. The search is going to get complicated. "It's not her... It's not you... It's not her." Is That You? is a charming romp through memories, misunderstandings, possible regrets... and maybe, just maybe, some roads not taken aren't lost forever. Myla and Ronnie have a mutual love of movies, so the film has many fun references to film and the arts. The dialog is snappy and clever, and the "regrets" interviews are amusing. Myla is almost more enthusiastic about the search than Ronnie. "How do old people kiss anyway?" "What kind of a question is this?" It's not easy for Ronnie to see himself as an old man... he's an ex-elite soldier in the Israeli Army, after all. "Are you worried that you won't find Rachel?" Myla asks. "I think now, I'm worried that I will find her."
3 popped kernels (Scale: 0-4)
Ronnie hasn't seen Rachel in 40 years, but he made a promise to be there for her 60th birthday
Gender Style: Sensitive
Distribution: Art House
Tempo: Cruises Comfortably
Visual Style: Unvarnished Realism & Amateur Video
Nutshell: Old flames and regrets
Language: True to life
Social Significance: Thought Provoking
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