Seres queridos (Only Human, 2004, Spain)

Only HumanLast week on our way out from the videostore we picked up an Israeli looking movie from the foreign movies aisle. When we put it on at home we quickly learned that Only Human was a Spanish movie (originally titled Seres queridos) , albeit it was mostly about a Jewish family. The origin did not matter much, because we would have read the English subtitles either way, as we do no speak Spanish or Hebrew (well enough) to follow a movie. It was a delightful little comedy, sometimes on the verge of moving into slapstick comedy. Most of the characters were developed just enough to be more than caricatures.

  • The somewhat senile grandfather is laughable character, despite his gun-toting behavior, but at one point the camera focuses on his arm with the tattooed in number.
  • We would think that the sluttish sister, who belly-dances, is ready for everything, even cooing her sister’s fiancée, but she stops herself and reveals that she is a god, scared person, who is also a good mother.
  • The teenage boy who is going through a religious phase and tries to keep Shabbat and eat kosher in a secular household ends up moving to a next phase, thanks to a clearly non-Jewish girl.
  • The Jewish mother, who act most of the time as a real Yiddishe Mame, rises above herself and does everything she can to accept the son-in-law-to-be.
  • The sister, who brings home her Palestinian fiancée for the first time, moves beyond the recognition that maybe she selected a mate from the “opposite” side to prove political points and starts even more genuinely care for him.
  • The shy and awkward Palestinian professor, who tries to rectify the mistake of dropping a block of frozen soup onto somebody’s head from the window, ends up finally saying to his fiancée what’s on his mind.

I do not want to give away more of the story that allowed these characters to be developed, poke fun at and laugh with. They are the key to the movie anyway.

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