Despite its reviews and subtitles, movie goers at Congregation Beth Shalom admired the screening of “Let Yourself Go,” the subsequent film in the synagogue’s CBS Film Series, on Sunday.
“It was compared to like a Woody Allen-ish kind of movie,” said Suzannah Warlick, film series director. “It did get panned by a lot of critics. I just read reviews online and they said it was a predictable movie.”
Released in 2017, “Let Yourself Go” is an Italian film about a Jewish psychoanalyst who develops a topsy turvy friendship with his personal trainer. Despite a score of 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the film won the 2017 Italian Golden Globe for Best Comedy.
When deciding on a film, Warlick finds a theme or genre appropriate for each month. Following documentaries and dramas, a comedy like “Let Yourself Go” seemed to be the right choice, she said.
“Usually, whenever I show a film there’s always a moral to the story,” Warlick said. “This one, you might not see a moral, but really it’s about two people, totally different personalities. One of them, a psychiatrist, was set in his ways, while meeting this crazy, zany girl who was totally below him but made him change his ways and see himself in a different way and act in a different way. Towards the end, he was a different person.”
Warlick noted that though the trainer, played by Spanish actress Verónica Echugui, was not fluent in Italian, she spoke the language well and the audience enjoyed her performance. Though the film featured subtitles, it was not a deterrent, Warlick said.
“My criteria for subtitles – I’m not such a fast reader, so if I can read and follow the story, then I know the audience can read and follow the story,” she said.
One viewer, Ken Greenberg, said he enjoyed the film for its comedy and didn’t mind the subtitles.
“Sometimes you got to get into the flow,” he said about the subtitles. “You have to work at it. But it was light, it was easy, it was really good.”
The CBS Film Series will continue March 10. Though a film has not yet been selected, Warlick said she’s working on choosing from one of three options.