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  • I see an awful lot of strange movies (OVERDOSE OF DEGRADATION (1970), anyone?) - horror, exploitation, science fiction, action, etc. It seems rare these days that I would sit still long enough to watch a film such as this. MAY isn't the kind of movie that I'm likely to slap in the DVD player. I'd have to be in the mood for it and that doesn't happen much. It would take an outside force for me to watch it and most of the time I would be better for it, ashamed of my reluctance.

    This was the film that opened Sundance this year and I can see why. Dabis has fashioned a light drama sprinkled with enough humor (often subtle) to make it a very pleasant experience. The performances are strong. Dabis put herself in front of the camera for the first time and does a wonderful job. Malouf, who plays May's sister Yasmine, nicely makes her feature debut, Shawkat, the other sister Dalia, gets the most laughs (you'll know her from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (2003) as Maeby Funke) and Abbass provides a strong and determined mother, Nadine, to the girls. And what a neat surprise to see Bill Pullman show up as Edward, Nadine's ex and father to the three girls.

    Another major character is the location of Amman, Jordan. It's not only the sepia tone look of the landscape and buildings but getting a taste of the culture shock provides a few laughs at the expense of those who look upon women as less than men. There's a moment in the final act where May stands on the top of a mesa in the desert and sees the beautiful landscape around her in every direction. She stands alone and finds the answer she's been searching for. It's breathtaking. Except for the camels, it looks very much like the American Southwest. From this point until the end it's a full on drama with a conclusion that wraps up nicely (perhaps a little too neatly) where every major character fulfills their arc.

    From a guy who watches hundreds of movies a year and spends a lot of time wallowing in the movie gutter of the 60s and 70s, I highly recommend this flick.
  • Let's just start saying that I do not believe that this movie got under six stars on IMDb. This is an amazing Indie movie. Starting with the photography which is beautiful and then going to the plot and to the actors. So refreshing... I loved the expressions of the daughters every time the mother, who is a devoted Christian, made funny religious comments. I can relate so well, I am Brazilian but my father was a Christian Lebanese, so I grew up with both Brazilian and Middle Eastern culture and also with the "religious" behavior of my dad. And it is just like that, besides Middle Eastern people are very friendly and warm and what a hospitality they have, but they are also in everybody's business, pressuring and pushing for marriage and education and all families are kind of dysfunctional, it is just crazy and lovely.

    Going back to the movie, I thought with was amazing, sweet, beautiful, female power and funny. Love the soundtrack too. The scenes when they go to the "Red Sea" for the bachelorette party are awesome and hilarious.

    Another movie, like this is "Caramel", from director "Nadine Labaki"
  • Cinema has changed. And watching movies these days is getting more and more like reading books in the old days. Just better, on my opinion, because images can be much stronger than words. They could have no equal: they can strike us the strongest, give us the greatest deal of immediate informations or go the deepest and last the longest into our brain.

    I loved this movie for a lot of reasons. But one of them, apparently, is that it shows Amman and Jordan. I know how this could sound stupid and I know that if someone wants to see images from these places he could just check on the Internet.

    But when May arrives to her mother's place and stops to give a look to the city I thought 'So, this is Amman!' and I felt strangely interested: a place we all have heard of, so far, so alien… seeing people living there, having fun, dancing, driving, going shopping and falling in love put all the elements of this movie under a peculiar light.

    Anyway, besides that, it's a really good story, very feminine, very human and sincere. Cherien Dabis is an amazing writer, director and performer, all the cast did great and the film is beautiful. Would it have taken place, let's say in Ohio, however, I don't think it would have just been the same for me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "May In the Summer" (2013 release; 99 min.) brings the story of May. As the movie opens, we see May arriving (from New York) in the Middle East (Jordan), where she meets up with her mom and her 2 sisters. May is getting ready for her wedding in a few weeks to Ziad, a secular Muslim who is a professor at NYU. May's mom, an Arab Christian, disapproves of the marriage. Meanwhile we also get to know May's dad, who divorced her mom 8 years ago and is now remarried to a much younger woman. One evening, May and her sisters go out and May gets to know Karim. Will May marry Ziad? Will her mom change her mind and approve of the marriage? And what about May's friendship with Karim? To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

    Couple of comments: first, this movie is a tour-de-force for writer-director Cherien Dabis, who also stars as May. She is an up-and-coming talent and this is her second movie as a director. Second, the movie stretches both into comedy and drama, but in the end this resonates best as a tender family drama. There are several outstanding scenes, including between the three sister, all of whom have insecurities they have trouble dealing with. The relationship between May and her mom, and May and her dad, respectively, are also presented with rich details. Third, the movie is set in and near Jordan, and as such it makes for a great travelogue. Check out the sisters' visit to the Dead Sea, which is captured in all of its glory (I had a chance to visit the Dead Sea several years ago, loved it).

    "May In the Summer" opened without any pre-release hype or advertising at my local art-house theatre here in Cincinnati this weekend, and I figured this will not play very long so I went to see it right away. I had a private screening at the matinée showing I saw this at (I was literally the only person in the theatre). No matter. This is an excellent movie, and it made me think of Woody Allen's "Hannah And Her Sisters" for some reason. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that Dabis did her undergraduate here at the University of Cincinnati. All that aside, if you are interested in a tender family drama that is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare, you cannot go wrong with this. "May In the Summer" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  • gurdajordan24 February 2017
    this movie is by far the worse movie i have ever seen in my life, it took a place in Jordan and all the scenes and people in the movie they don't even represent Jordan nor Jordanians, its talking about a Palestinian family so they might film it in Palestine not Jordan, and i see this movie as a misrepresentation of Jordanians and Jordan and its a racist movie so don't even bother to watch. and if i have the ability to take it down from the internet i would.
  • jmlogan5416 March 2015
    I really enjoyed the story with its twists and turns. Like the previous reviewer, I do feel that a great deal of my enjoyment was derived from the backdrop of Amman, Jordan. It is stunningly beautiful and add to that the background soundtrack of the calls to prayer, even more beautiful. Also, learning that the lead was played by the writer of the story, I wondered if it was autobiographical. I would have liked to learn more about why all 3 daughters left their homeland. I would have liked to learn more about how the father met the mother. Bill Pullman did a great job with the role of the father coming across as believable some of the time but not believable much of the time.