AJFF Review: An Idol Worthy of Being ‘Almost Famous’
ArtsAtlanta Jewish Film Festival

AJFF Review: An Idol Worthy of Being ‘Almost Famous’

Not to be confused with the American film set in 1973, this Israeli musical comedy is utterly contemporary.

It’s true that the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival has something for everyone. In the case of “Almost Famous,” the target audience is teens and tweens, or possibly their parents who never got over Dylan leaving Brenda on “Beverly Hills 90210.”

Both groups will enjoy the teenage angst, the nerdy vs. mean girls, and of course the requisite heartthrob. For the rest of us, the film offers a fresh look at how Israeli culture is trying to mirror U.S. culture with music, television and instant stardom.

Not to be confused with the American film of the same name set in 1973, this Israeli-produced “Almost Famous” is utterly contemporary, down to the cellphones, texting and social media. If you are a fan of “American Idol” or “The Voice,” you will enjoy this Israeli version of the reality-show music scene.

The film delves into the typical high school problem of what it means to be popular and, more important, what it takes to be popular. How far is too far?

But it is not just the kids who have to deal with this pressure. The spotlight is on the whole family, with a sharp focus on how the demands of fame disrupt marriages, young love and even “best friends forever.” All are caught in the glittery web and must decide whether popularity is worth the price.

Watch the trailer: “Almost Famous”

Tomer, the hippie-leaning, rising pop star played by Omer Dror, and his sweet but ferociously independent girlfriend, Maya (Amit Farkash), make a great couple, but is their love strong enough?

Niv Sultan as the brilliant but nerdy kid sister, Shir, hopes to ride the coattails of her brother’s fame, but does she cross the line?

In the end it is all b’seder, a fun pop show, and that’s OK with me.

(Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screenings: Jan. 27, 1:10 p.m., Perimeter Pointe; Feb. 4, 1:20 p.m., Springs; Feb. 11, 1:15 p.m., Springs)

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