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If you took the Ben Stiller comedy “Meet the Parents,” rewrote it in Spanish, and added in a dash of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and a pinch of religious conversion experiences, you’d end up with “Only Human,” which opens tonight in New York. The film is a hilarious comedy of errors and of family relationships, focusing on the romance between Leni, an actress and the middle child of a tight-knit Spanish Jewish family, and her new fiancé Rafi, a Palestinian professor. When Leni brings Rafi home to meet her family, she neglects to tell them that he isn’t Jewish. In the chaos after his family history is revealed, Rafi escapes to the kitchen to get ready for dinner. With his nerves on edge, he inadvertently hurls a bowl of frozen soup out the window, hitting a passer-by (who might be Leni’s father, on his way home from work) in the head and possibly killing him. The ensuing cover-up of Rafi’s potential crime, the search for the family’s missing patriarch, and the growing resentment between Leni and Rafi about their religious–and moral–differences is an entertaining tour through the inner workings of family dynamics.

And though it is laugh-out-loud funny, the film has a serious–though not at all heavy-handed–side, offering poignant sketches of characters dealing with marital infidelity, inter-religious conflict, family tension, parenting crises, sexual promiscuity, and aging. But as filmgoers will find, the joy of being only human is that it’s possible to live through these conflicts and troubling circumstances and still laugh about it all in the end.

The movie will hit screens in several other U.S. cities this summer; a full schedule of openings is available here.

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