Friday 29 March 2024

Movie Review: Time Out (2019)

Genre: Romantic Comedy  
Director: Hannah Ramy  
Starring: Maguy Bou Ghosn, Yorgo Chalhoub, Hind Baz, William Sabbagh  
Running Time: 93 minutes  

Synopsis: In Beirut, nighttime club DJ Yara (Maguy Bou Ghosn) enjoys loud music and parties. Her lifestyle antagonizes next-door neighbour Rabi' (Yorgo Chalhoub), a stuffy history teacher and single dad to teen daughter Selena (Masa Habib). When Yara accidentally crashes her car into Rabi', Cupid (Wessam Saad) spares her life as long as she earns Rabi's love within 30 days.

What Works Well: This Lebanese romantic comedy is more about laughs than love. Director Hannah Ramy and writer Claude Saliba demonstrate a deft touch and plenty of wit charting Yara's increasing desperation as she attempts to close the gap between animosity and affection. Brisk pacing, multiple locations, and strong supporting characters add shine. Most of Wessam Saad's cross-eyed appearances as Cupid are hilarious, and Maguy Bou Ghosn throws herself in a role demanding multiple transformations.

What Does Not Work As Well: Despite no lack of trying, the chemistry between Yara and Rabi' remains tepid, and more heat is generated between secondary characters played by Hind Baz and William Sabbagh. Most of the acting is over-cooked, and the narrative predictability is par for the genre. 

Conclusion: Frantic, fun, and of course fluffy.

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