SalsaEvritFrom Tzivi’s Guide to the 2012 Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema

TOP PERFORMANCES: At the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum [from The Fifth Heaven] is Salsa Tel Aviv staring Angelica Vale as “Vicky,” a Mexican woman who sneaks into Israel in search of a ne’er do well boyfriend. Vale is a very well-known singer/actress with a long list of Latin American film and concert credits. On the other hand, her counterpart, Israeli actor Angel Bonani, is a relative novice. And yet this bubbly confection is the closest thing I’ve seen to the Hepburn/Grant screwball comedy classic Bringing Up Baby in years. Gracias!

Tzivi’s Sneak Peek: “Vicky” (Angelica Vale) has a problem. Her boyfriend has disappeared, leaving her alone in Mexico to care for their young son. When she learns he has moved to Israel, she resolves to follow him there and bring him home. She poses as a nun to evade immigration authorities… and hillarious consequences ensue…

Salsa Tel Aviv is a guilty pleasure filled with music & dance (easily integrated into the plot because Vicky and her boyfriend are both Salsa instructors) plus adroit physical comedy and just a dash of social commentary (we are, after all, following the trail of illegal immigrants).

What holds it all together is Angelica Vale ebulience as Vicky. And to his credit, director Yohanan Weller (making his first feature film), found the perfect counterpart in TV actor Angel Bonani (also making his feature film debut here).

Sticking close to the classic screwball comedy formula, Elisa Dor’s screenplay ensures that a good time will be had by all!

Meet Cute at the Mexico City airport.
Meet Cute at the Mexico City airport.
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