Squabbling newlyweds Batoul and Mokhtar play with fire as they continually threaten divorce over Mokhtar’s possessive jealousy. Their neighbor, Salim, thinks “a bit of nooky fixes everything.” However, Salim’s exhausted wife, Awatef, starts grooming a potential second wife to help deal with his nooky demands, and their precocious daughters come up with their own wild theory about the birds and the bees. Meanwhile Loubna, a divorcée and up-and-coming clothing designer, hopes for a second chance with her first love, green grocer Abu Ahmad, through a potentially scandalous secret marriage. Writer/director Assad Fouladkar, assisted by a cast of attractive and endearing performers, creates a comedy of unexpected depth and poignancy, as the colorful film’s satirical bent does not diminish a heartfelt affection for its motley crew of lovesick characters. Featuring grown-ups having real conversations about love and sex, Halal Love (and Sex) dares to poke fun at the complicated balancing act of romantic desire and religious devotion in the Muslim world.
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