An appealing Israeli film about the resiliency needed by a small band of Russian immigrants to survive in difficult times.
Sweet, sexy, and unexpectedly enchanting, "Yana's Friends" is the little feel-good comedy that could.
| Original Score: B+
The film eloquently persuades us that it is better to laugh than cry and better to make love than war, messages that never go out of date.
The movie won 10 Israeli Academy Awards and prizes at various film festivals. It's easy to see why.
Lots of charm and likeable characters add up to a delightful movie.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
A small surprise at the end made me feel good about the whole movie, turning an amusing but slightly bland story into a winning experience.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
A film whose warm-heartedness overcomes a lack of style.
A tender, spirited look at love and community in the midst of war.
| Original Score: 3/4
An accomplished debut with heart, war and sex.
Portrays not only the fear that Israelis live with every day, but also the difficulties in a nation where people are arriving from all over the world, not knowing Hebrew.
| Original Score: 71/100
A warm humanity washes over this lovely film, whose message is that gestures of love, however small or awkward, are crucial to the complicated art of survival.
Kaplun (director Arik's wife) as Yana has a knack for maintaining her dignity and her poise while struggling through her humiliating problems.
[Yana's] understated optimism and enjoyment of life gives the film much of its vitality.
Kaplun's smart, scrappy romantic comedy Yana's Friends displays an insouciance rarely found in Israeli film.
Slight though it may be, Yana's Friends is life-affirming and filled with comic spirit that erupts even at the worst of times.
One of the best date movies to come out in months.
I never imagined that Yana's Friends would one day turn out to be so timely for all New Yorkers -- and indeed, all Americans.
You aren't separated from these people even if they do live thousands of miles away.
Amusing with one unforgettable gag, Kaplun's film does a passable job of portraying the hardships endured by immigrants but is more notable for placing a light-hearted tale in a decidedly heavy time and place.
| Original Score: 3/5
The treatment, both as satire and sentimentality, is heavy-handed.
An attention-grabbing debut.