Jesse Aaron Dwyre and Flavia Bechara can’t quite climb Adam’s Wall.
ADAM'S WALL (Michael MacKenzie). 94 minutes. Opens Friday (December 5). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
Despite its noble intentions, Adam's Wall crumbles under the weight of its "can't we all just get along" earnestness.
Adam (Jesse Aaron Dwyre) has been living in Montreal with his Orthodox rabbi grandfather (Gabriel Gascon) since his parents were killed a decade earlier.
He hides everything from the old curmudgeon, including his clarinet, his black Sufi friend, Mostafa (Tyrone Benskin), and Yasmine (Flavia Bechara), the charming Lebanese Orthodox Christian girl he meets cute at a political demonstration. All that's missing from this calculated religious mosaic are some Hindus, Buddhists and Scientologists.
While transgressing cultural barriers, Yasmine's got her own dramas, particularly a mother living in Beirut who's disappeared during recent bombings.
If this sounds plot-heavy, it's because the film relies on maudlin developments to bring these diverse people together and distract us from the star-crossed lovers, who have about as much chemistry as hummus and ketchup.
To be fair, there's a sensual moment when Adam mimics playing the clarinet on Yasmine's arm. But that's short-lived - just like any charity we might feel for a film with honourable motives and not much else.