Caramel Review

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The romantic liasions of five Lebonese girls based in beirut, is the subject of this international rom-com.


Here’s another film to make a Western woman relieved to live here. This touching Lebanese chick-flick swirls around gal pals - of different ages and religions - sharing their lives in a Beirut beauty salon. The title refers to the sugary goo used for ripping off unwanted hair - ouch! - a neat metaphor for secrets being exposed. Writer-director Labaki plays Layale, the salon’s spirited owner, but revels in her whole cast, from the non-virginal bride-to-be who needs her hymen stitched up to the mysterious beauty who comes in for shampoos but won’t cut her hair. Like Steel Magnolias without the terminal illness, it celebrates the solidarity of women negotiating a series of emotional events.

An effective look at women's lives in a decidedly non-Hollywood setting.