Cherien Dabis (Amreeka) writes, directs, and stars in the story of May, a New York writer-type who made bank off her heritage — a book of meditations on Middle Eastern proverbs (just like the ones that serve as title cards!) — and is now returning home to Jordan to get married. The groom, absent until near the end, happens to be from the same town, but while he is a secular Muslim, May is a secular Christian. Right away, there's trouble with Mom (a regal Hiam Abbass), a disapproving evangelical who says she's married to Jesus even as she engages in a little romantic spellcraft. May has her sisters to fall back on, but wouldn't you know it, they have issues of their own. Notable chiefly for its knowing, comfortable depictions of female relationships, sibling relationships, familial relationships. Also its determination to rise above some of its more sitcommy plot points. Bill Pullman gives a nicely pitched performance as the repentant Bad Dad. (2014) — Matthew Lickona
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