Dabis's character comes off as a self-serving fantasy.
Dabis covers a lot of ground as a storyteller while delivering a smart, focused performance.
Ultimately you're left with a drama so contained, it can be neatly wrapped up in single sentences of passed-on wisdom.
Notable chiefly for its knowing, comfortable depictions of female relationships, sibling relationships, familial relationships. Also its determination to rise above some of its more sitcommy plot points.
You believe in these people, you care about them and their struggles. And in the end, you wish them all the best.
There's goodwill to go around in Dabis' modestly engaging yarn, from its appealing performances to the times it zeroes in on the ways culture, tradition and individuality cause headaches and heartaches as much as comfort.
It's diverting to watch and has moments of brilliance, but even with all its refreshing female characters, "May in the Summer" doesn't leave a lasting impression.
The vibe is like that of a Lifetime movie that happens to be set in Amman rather than American suburbia. Just sub in camel sightings in place of white-tailed deer.
As a director, Ms. Dabis ("Amreeka") deftly avoids sentimentality. The film falls somewhere between slight and satisfying in its ultimate irresolution.