The few critics who saw Michael Vinik’s film Valeria is Getting Married in Venice call this a drama, but I’ll call this a comedy in ways that, well, explaining jokes aren’t funny. The titular character (Dasha Tvoronovich), a Jewish Ukrainian, participates in the preamble to the titular sacrament. She sits down to lunch (?) with her sister Christina (Lena Fraifeld) and the latter’s Israeli husband Michael (Yaakov Zada Daniel) so that she meets the man they’re marrying her off to. She seems wiling to play the role of a mail order bride at first, but maybe it’s something Michael says to Eitan, the prospective husband, in Hebrew, a language she doesn’t understand, that makes her lock herself in the bathroom and not want to marry Eitan.
I’m not just being nice to Valeria to compensate for the bad review I gave to Vinik’s previous screenplay Working Woman, a film I should have probably been nicer to. This film has merits of its own. In its slight running time she explores the plethora of emotions that come out as a result of one woman acting on her gut instinct. Doing their part, Tvoronovich and Fraifeld find the right tone when they yell at each other or laugh at the fallout of Valeria’s decision. There’s also something interesting in the cinematography, as Vinik chooses rawer surfaces to a film that complements the subject. Lastly, the comedy side comes from the fact that Eitan thinks that a Samsung A10 can win a woman.
(Paolo here. I edited the original review to correct factual inaccuracies).