Feature Story > Reel Affirmations

ZUS & ZO

[CRITIC'S PICK]

Sunday, Oct. 27, 4 p.m.
Lincoln Theatre, $9

trangletrangletrangletrangletrangle

Even the most progressive, tolerant families probably wouldn't mind if a gay member decided to give straight marriage a try, right? Not in The Netherlands of the delightful farce Zus & Zo, where opposite-sex marriage borders on passé -- “Only gays get married nowadays,” goes one clever quip -- and the nuptials of Nino (Jacob Derwig) and his fiancée Bo (Halina Reijn) mean that Nino's three selfish sisters, Sonja (Monique Hendrickx), Wanda (Anneke Blok) and Michelle (Sylvia Poorta), won't inherit their treasured family resort on the Portuguese coast.


Zus & Zo

The sisters are convinced that Bo must be in the dark about their brother's sexuality, so in hopes of saving the resort for themselves, they conspire in high comedic fashion to clue her in. Writer-director Paula Van der Oest deftly interweaves interesting subplots about the sisters' dysfunctional marriages and affairs, and keeps her cast in fine form throughout. She gets especially good mileage from Blok as the “tortured artist” archetype who collects sperm from the men she sleeps with for her art installations.

The plot takes an unexpected turn late in the film when Nino reconnects with his estranged boyfriend, a celebrity chef by the name of Felix Delicious (Pieter Embrechts), and the gender identity issues raised at the last minute are complicated enough for a film of their own. But Van der Oest has so thoroughly entranced you by that point that it's impossible for Zus & Zo to go wrong. -- JP


Comments:
(Click on the name field, or use the drop-downs to post to your favorite social network.)