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Hello Goodbye

A middle-aged couple's move to Israel becomes one "oy vey" after another in "Hello Goodbye," a cross-cultural comic falafel whose various ingredients fail to jell. Stars Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu, though sometimes endearing, never achieve the screen chemistry of prior collaborations like "The Woman Next Door" and "Colonel Chabert." And helmer/co-scripter Graham Guit shoots off jokes about family, religion and the hazards of circumcision that mostly miss their mark.

With:
With: Fanny Ardant, Gerard Depardieu, Jean Benguigui, Lior Ashkenazi, Sasson Gabay, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Francois Christophe, Manu Payet.

A middle-aged couple’s move to Israel becomes one “oy vey” after another in “Hello Goodbye,” a cross-cultural comic falafel whose various ingredients fail to jell. Stars Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu, though sometimes endearing, never achieve the screen chemistry of prior collaborations like “The Woman Next Door” and “Colonel Chabert.” And helmer/co-scripter Graham Guit shoots off jokes about family, religion and the hazards of circumcision that mostly miss their mark. Pic could interest Jewish fests.

Looking to vindicate their Judaism by purchasing a Tel Aviv condo, Gisele (Ardant) and her doctor husband, Alain (Depardieu), arrive in the land of honey to find their luggage missing, their dream apartment floundering and the local bureaucracy less than accommodating. Over-zealous Gisele soon falls for a heartthrob rabbi (Lior Ashkenazi), while Alain loses a promised hospital job. However, he does get himself circumcised — a gag that, like several others, just doesn’t cut it right. Script offers up a semi-critique of recent French-Jewish immigrants to Israel who go around flaunting their extreme kosher-ness but are really just a bunch of annoying meshuggahs.

Hello Goodbye

France-Israel-Italy

Production: An SND (in France) release of a Babe Films (France)/Metro Communications, United King Films (Israel)/Film Kairos (Italy)/SND, Linkia Films, La Filmeraie (France) production, with participation of Markus Films, TPS Star, Canal Plus. (International sales: SND, Paris.) Produced by Leon Edery, Moshe Edery, David Silber, Francesco Pamphili. Directed by Graham Guit. Screenplay, Guit, Michael Lellouche, inspired by Moshe Gaash's book.

Crew: Camera (color), Gerard Sterin; editor, Marie-Blanche Colonna; production designer, William Abello; costume designer, Nathalie du Roscoat. Reviewed at UGC Cine Cite Les Halles 23, Paris, Nov. 27, 2008. French, English, Hebrew dialogue. Running time: 98 MIN.

With: With: Fanny Ardant, Gerard Depardieu, Jean Benguigui, Lior Ashkenazi, Sasson Gabay, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Francois Christophe, Manu Payet.

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