Kiss Me Before It Blows Up
Shy German botanist Maria (Luise Wolfram) moves in with her fun-loving girlfriend, Shira (Moran Rosenblatt), in her Tel Aviv apartment. Their love is in full bloom and they’re thrilled to be starting a new chapter in their lives together. The couple’s romance only grows stronger after a spur-of-the-moment proposal and a wedding looms on the horizon. Shira’s family welcome Maria openly, however, with a marriage ceremony now in the picture, cultures and traditions collide, putting their relationship under tremendous strain. Nobody is more against the matrimony than Shira’s grandmother (Rivka Michaeli), who’s adamant that her grandchild weds someone Jewish.
Kiss Me Before It Blows Up, the feature debut from writer-director Shirel Peleg, is brazen in its subject matter. The filmmaker paints an honest portrayal of a star-crossed romance that doesn’t hold much back, coupling the tensions raised between Shira’s lifestyle and her family’s traditional values alongside the deep-seated prejudices in German and Jewish histories. Unfortunately, though, the awkward handling of the comedy and all-too-familiar rom-com narrative blows up in the face of the Peleg’s good intentions.
Though the narrative is groan-inducingly contrived – down to the mandatory feel-good nuptial scene at the end – throughout, viewers will be able find some happiness in the central performances. Wolfram and Rosenblatt are simply a tonne of fun to watch. The pair bounce off each other wonderfully with plenty of chemistry between them. They are unmistakably crazy about each other and audiences will root for them to prevail; and when the third act breakup inevitably occurs, it’s not without an emotional payoff.
Everything else, however, is a lot less fun in comparison. The humour is far too awkward to be successful. Characters shout their scandalous views and others react just as hyperbolically. Everything is so overstated that it cheapens the very issues the comedy is supposed to be tackling – and that’s a real problem. Likewise, the director attempts to inject some personality into the flick with the insertion of a band who appear sporadically throughout. While charming at first, their inclusions are so sparse that the gesture soon becomes meaningless.
Wolfram and Rosenblatt’s performances are this film’s sole saving grace. But even their love isn’t strong enough to save this movie from its catastrophic mediocrity.
Kiss Me Before It Blows Up does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our BFI Flare 2021 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the BFI Flare website here.
Watch the trailer for Kiss Me Before It Blows Up here: