The amusing Spanish family comedy of errors Only Human does something rare in today’s world: it turns the ever-more disconcerting Israeli-Palestinian situation into a farce, and deals sensitively with the politics under which mixed-race relationships suffer. Leni, an attractive, twentysomething Jewish woman, introduces her college professor boyfriend, Rafi, to her zany family, including her stereotypical pushy-Jew mom, Gloria. All should go well, except for one little issue: Rafi is Palestinian.
The set-up obviously suggests Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner? and Almodovar may come to mind. But dig past the middle-class Spanish milieu, and the comparisons to Almodovar stop there: Only Human’s comic bloodline trickles down more from Preston Sturges and Billy Wilder than Almodovar (not to mention the dull visuals — utterly un-Pedro). The script is freewheeling yet sharp and surprisingly funny, and though the bits involving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are a little thin, it handles the political points with aplomb and compassion. Only Human won’t change the minds of any extremists, but it underlines something important about us humans: how beautiful — and grossly selfish — we can be.