Jorge Weller’s entertaining Israeli romantic comedy, Love in Suspenders, is awash in geriatric romance. Set in contemporary Tel Aviv, it will be screened online by the Toronto Jewish Festival, which runs from October 22 to November 1.
Beno (Yehuda Barkan) and Tami (Nitza Saul) meet under inauspicious circumstances when she bumps into him with her car. At the urging of her son, Michael, a lawyer, she offers him immediate compensation to ward off a lawsuit, but he declines.
They both live alone, she in a luxurious assisted living facility and he in a ratty flat. A former singer, she is a widow who still mourns the death of her husband and has hallucinations about him. He is a lonely widower.
When an electrical problem forces Beno to leave his flat, Tami invites him to stay the night in hers. Since the repair takes longer than anticipated, Beno continues to camp out in Tami’s apartment.
Tami is an attractive woman with a million-dollar smile and a fat bank account. Beno, a low-key, thoughtful person, is up to his neck in debt. He’s so far behind in his rent that his landlord threatens to evict him.
Despite Beno’s grim financial status, Tami grows increasingly fond of him. Expecting their platonic friendship to blossom into something carnal, he visits a pharmacy to buy a package of Viagra. Since his neighbors are right behind him in the queue, he pretends he is buying vitamins. It’s a hilarious scene.
Back at Tami’s apartment, Beno expresses a desire for a “friendship-plus” relationship with her. She’s pleased by his suggestion. Later, Beno tells Tami he’s falling in love with her. It’s exactly what she wants to hear.
Michael (Yiftach Klein), a suspicious fellow, gums up the works when he finds Viagra in one of his mother’s rooms. He’s flabbergasted that she’s still interested in sex.
As well, Michael thinks that Beno is a crook and a fortune hunter. “You deserve more than that man,” he says.
Tami, meanwhile, is upset that she and Beno have become the objects of mean-spirited gossip.
Having been bombarded by her son’s accusation, Tami falls prey to confusion, causing Beno to distance himself from her. Everything is eventually sorted out, but until then, Beno and Tami feel miserable.
Love in Suspenders moves along at a nice pace, and viewers likely will be drawn to the elderly couple. Barkan and Saul breathe life into their respective characters, and Weller deftly directs this feel-good movie, whose uplifting message is that it’s never too late for love.