Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (Kiss Me Kosher)
Comedy, 1 hr 41 min
Log line: A subversive love story between clashing cultures and families, KISS ME BEFORE IT BLOWS UP is a romantic misadventure crossing all borders.
Full of heart, full of love, full of family, friendship, and forgiveness, it would almost be poetic injustice not to watch this film…
I do not give a film a “five-star” review lightly but when my mind is blown away by what I have seen and my gut is telling me that I have no other choice, that is when I know a film deserves it. Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (also known as Kiss Me Kosher) may well be the best Dramedy infused Romcom that I have ever seen. Every scene delivers a minefield of emotions, every sub-plot has its own twist, and every character plays an important role. Here is a story filled with the trials and tribulations of love, from romantic love, love of oneself, love from your family, love (or self-loathing) of your heritage and culture, and love that shouldn’t fit but does somehow.
Written and directed by Shirel Peleg, it is truly mind-boggling to me that Kiss Me Before It Blows Up is this writer-director’s first feature film. How someone could deliver such full-length cinematic gold at first attempt is stupendous and thoroughly exhilarating. I already cannot wait to see their future projects! This film treads the very tricky line of touching upon serious topics such as politics (and the Holocaust no less!) to in-built prejudices, familial rejection, and the joining of cultures, whilst balancing it with heartfelt romantic relationships and excellent comedic timing. Kiss Me Before It Blows Up tells the tale of how two women, Shira (Moran Rosenblatt) and Maria (Luise Wolfram) navigate (or get lost) within the turmoil of meeting each other’s families; one being eccentrically Israeli Jewish whilst the other being unequivocally German and “Shiksa” or “Goyim” – which can be used as derogatory terms for non-Jews.
This film recognises the fact that in all societies differences can divide us, but what of love? Well love can overcome all boundaries and unite even the unlikeliest of pairings. Both the granddaughter and the gran (Rivka Michaeli) had the most to lose and the most to gain in their journeys through this film. The character growth is evident and fulfilling to watch. Both women, spanning 2 generations, ultimately teach each other to ‘not let a good thing get away from you’ and thus to embrace love despite cultural differences, historical grudges, previous biases, and pride. With so many positive messages radiating from this film, an open and unapologetically lesbian couple in the forefront, and a respectful homage to a dark history and political divisions, there is for sure plenty for any viewer to sink their teeth into.
Another sign of an excellent film is when the script is so quotable that almost every scene is laced with memorable one-liners. I shall share a few choice quotes here to help you appreciate the flavour and tone of the writing:
“Moving in with someone after knowing them for 2 minutes is bad taste.” says Gran – well seems like Gran hasn’t heard of the term “U-Haul lesbian” then!
“My grandma wouldn’t know happiness if it hit her in the head with a Torah Scroll.”
“It’s an Israeli thing; we don’t protest; we yell at the TV.”
“You exchange girlfriends as often as I misplace my dentures.”
“We don’t use the word “straight” as a synonym for right.”
“Love is a mess, a beautiful mess, and a mess worth celebrating.”
That was just a small selection of the written gems that sparkle throughout the script. Many of them delivered with impeccable energy and pizazz by the whole cast who shine in each and every one of the characters. There is also a lot of symbolism signifying key points during the film from rings being the right size, driving into dead-ends, and a reunion of love at the Green Line. The endless attention to detail and desire to educate as well as entertain the audience can be seen from start to finish.
Full of heart, full of love, full of family, friendship, and forgiveness, it would almost be poetic injustice not to watch this film and bask in its brilliance. Currently showing at Roze Filmdagen 2021 and BFI Flare 2021, I implore you to treat yourself by watching this film – you can thank me later for it! If you like films such as Saving Face or I Can’t Think Straight (which is available on Lesflicks VOD), then this film is a must-see for you!
Watch the trailer
This article was written by:
Writer, Reviewer, Social
Ping believes in the power of love and kindness, and that "love is love" no matter what shape or form it comes in. She would like to see positive representation for all walks of life in film and media.