Urban Feel (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Israel  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Gönül Dönmez-Colin

The debut film from Toronto-born Israeli theatre director/writer Jonathan Sagall, who played a supporting role in Shindler's List, Urban Feel focuses on a modern couple (Played by top Israeli actors Dafna Rechtner and Scharonn Alexander) and their rocky relationship. Robby is an accountant and a hypochondriac, Eva works in a shop specializing in erotic toys for women, and they have an eight-year-old son named Jonah. The routine of daily life is disrupted by the sudden appearance of the 'catalyzing stranger,' the charming and slightly alcoholic Emanuel (no other that the director Jonathan Sagall himself), who was Eva's childhood sweetheart and also an old buddy of Robby. Emanuel's influence is felt strongly by all members of the household, including little Jonah, whom he teaches to be tough on the street. But the most drastic change is in Eva, whose sexual feelings are rekindled. After the drunken intrusion of Emanuel into her bed one night, Eva lands in an anonymous sex club. Robby's reaction is to plunge into a crazy affair with a woman named Nelly, who regularly places ads in the lonely hearts columns of newspapers and is somewhat involved with an aging theatre director. In the meantime, the audience is supposed to wonder, who is the real father of Jonah, Robby, or Emanuel? The film has pretensions of a global late-1990's zeitgeist, engulfing characters that have stopped caring; one character, Asi, walks through a terrorist bomb attack, but is still preoccupied by something to do with his love life. It is also about post-modern man's yearning for love beyond sex. The problem is all this has already been said (and shown) many times before, and Urban Feel has nothing new or original to add. At its best, it is a bittersweet comedy with some clever dialogue. The film competed at the 49th International Berlin Film Festival, 1999.