Dave's Rating:

4.0

… a much less funny Clerks but with bombs.

Who's in It: Neama Shendar, Smadar Sayar

The Basics: Two Israeli teenage girls, working through their one-year term of compulsory military service, spend their time trying to avoid work and doing some standard-issue growing-up stuff. Think a much less funny Clerks but with bombs.

What's the Deal? Normally, I'm not on board with coming-of-age movies, because, really, how many times can you watch that? The lesson is always that life sucks — and you can learn that from watching Showgirls any time you want — and that you have to grow up and deal with it. But this one's kind of a novelty act in that it's also a buddy movie about women being drafted into the army.

What Else Is Good About It: The intrusion of the truly frightening prospect of death while dealing with an otherwise mundane year of national service doesn't turn it into a pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian tract. It keeps the personal stuff on the front burner, sort of like Paradise Now, the Palestinian movie about the personal lives of a couple of young, potential-suicide-bombing best friends. That would be a double feature to remember.

What's Not: The coming-of-age clichés do pop up with regularity, so it's not like you haven't seen a lot of movies like this one, regardless of the fresh setting.

For Fans Of: Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai. You thought I was going to say Private Benjamin, I know.

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