A family of caterers in a small Egyptian village prepares for a big wedding feast while balancing sibling rivalry, romantic entanglements, and culinary ambitions in this charming comedy from veteran filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah.
Contemporary World Cinema
Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces
Veteran Egyptian filmmaker Yousry Nasrallah follows up his 2012 Cannes competition vérité drama After the Battle with an unexpected departure: a large-scale romantic comedy. Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces is a charming and disarming film made in the spirit of reconciliation. It whisks us away to the Egyptian village of Belqas, where people know how to savour the flavours of life, indulging in the pleasures of love, laughter, and Middle Eastern home cooking.
Yehia is the patriarch and head chef of the Al-Tabakh family, an affectionate labouring-class clan of cooks specializing in wedding receptions. His eldest son Re'efat (Bassem Samra) is hopelessly in love with the village's chic divorcée, Shadia (Laila Eloui). But Re'efat is engaged to his cousin, Karima (Menna Shalaby), who herself is head over heels for Re'efat's younger brother. This romantic mess is bad enough when all parties have to suffer in secret, but things threaten to boil over when the family is thrust into preparations for a big new catering contract: a wedding at the provincial home of Farid Abu Rayya, a businessman with political ambitions. The party's guest list turns up the heat even further as the groom's sister-in-law causes chaos, seemingly for her own mischievous enjoyment, and the presence of Shadia's corrupt ex-lover triggers a farcical daisy chain of jealousy.
An absolute treat from beginning to end, Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces is a sweet and savoury saga infused with Nasrallah's signature subversive spirit.