jalla! jalla! offers a glimpse ofthe new Sweden, a nation no longer strictly populated by blond-haired, blue-eyed Viking types. Immigration has increased over the past few decades, and people of colour are now increasingly visible in Swedish society. Jalla! Jalla! is a frantic comedy focusing on Lebanese Swede Roro (Fares Fares), who pretends to be engaged to Yasmin (Laleh Pourkarim), a Lebanese woman who'll be sent back home unless she weds. But Roro loves Lisa (Tuva Novotny), a blond-haired Swede who knows nothing of all this. Meanwhile, Roro's friend Mans (Torkel Petersson) is having sexual problems: he can't get hard, and is searching for a cure.
Jalla! Jalla! soon disintegrates into a lot of men yelling and beating the crap out of each other. Director Josef Fares's madcap clash of cultures -- Lebanese traditions go head-to-head with devil-may-care Swedish attitudes -- would have worked better if he'd kept the macho antics to a minimum and focused more on what it means to be a 21st-century Swede. email@example.com
JALLA! JALLA! written and directed by Josef Fares, produced by Anna Anthony, Lars Jönsson and Lukas Moodysson, with Fares Fares, Torkel Petersson, Tuva Novotny and Laleh Pourkarim. 90 minutes. A Film Tonic release. Opens Friday (May 3). For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 80. Rating: NN