The Arty Semite

Friday Film: A Radical Experiment in Dating

By Schuyler Velasco

  • Print
  • Share Share

“2 night” is a rich, complex film based on two simple premises. The first is the sheer impossibility of finding a parking space in Tel Aviv at 2 a.m. on a weekend. The second is an experiment in dating without pretense: What if, when two people embarked on a relationship, they showed their true colors immediately? Would it speed up the voyage to deeper intimacy, or send the two lovers running and screaming in opposite directions?

“2 night,” screening February 14 and 23 at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, opens inside a Tel Aviv bar, picking up where most hookup storylines leave off. The man and the woman in question, played by Yaron Brovinsky and Keren Berger, have already decided to go home with one another. As they walk to the car, he chafes at the artifice of dating:

You’re never yourself. You’re always trying to be someone else to impress the other person. And then, best case scenario, someone likes the impression you made, then finds out it wasn’t really you. Then you find yourself stuck, with this impression which isn’t you. And you, who isn’t your impression. Then for five years you find yourself living in a threesome–you, the girl, and the impression that you made.

So they decide to be themselves, good, bad, and ugly: She puts her bare feet on the dashboard, curses like crazy, and shows him the sock puppet she carries around with her at all times; he talks freely about porn and tells her, frequently, to shut up. Meanwhile, they fruitlessly comb Tel Aviv for a place to park.

Both scenarios are so simple that they could easily grow tedious. But the low-budget “2 Night” proves far more sophisticated than its packaging. Brovinsky and Berger have a playful, bristly chemistry; their characters are far from perfect (at times they’re both borderline appalling), but you get the sense that they very well might be perfect for each other. You want them to hook up, and that makes the parking search interminable.

They’re helped out by a hilarious, quickly paced script from Brovinsky and Roi Werner. Though crammed into a short time frame, the relationship development of the two characters never seems rushed or forced. Moments of uncomfortable tension are cut at just the right time with a joke or a smile, and the pacing isn’t afraid to languish when it needs to — at one point, the couple take a break from their parking search, climb on top of the car, and read poetry together. It sounds silly and forced (and I cringed when it started) but even that somehow worked.

Of course, the truth can be hurtful, and as the night wears on, the consequences of such brutal honesty start to catch up with them. In the end, a twist I certainly never saw coming reveals that one of them wasn’t playing by the rules from the start. And the question asked at every revelatory juncture in a relationship presses on them with an immediacy that can’t be ignored: Do you put up with it, or cut your losses and move on?

Watch the trailer for ‘2 Night’:

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Yaron Brovinsky, Schuyler Velasco, Roi Werner, Keren Berger, Film, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, 2 Night

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.