Mike Mosallam, 2020, USA, 92min
Cast: Haaz Sleiman, Michael Cassidy, Amin El Gamal, Rula Gardenier, Patrick Sabongui, Veronica Cartwright
Cocooned in strict Muslim beliefs about family, faith, and food, Mo – an adorably shy gay doctor in postbreak-up mode – cautiously expands his comfort zone during Ramadan to connect with Kal, an All-American gay actor who happens to speak Arabic and make great mloukieh (jute stew). Director Mike Mosallam skillfully layers flirty rom-com tropes with complex characters and thoughtful religious debates, adding more dimension to the story arc. How they meet in the middle and conquer love is a journey as sumptuous as the gastronomic delights they share in their nightly celebrations of Ishtar (the Muslim traditional meal that breaks fast).