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It may be time for Hollywood romantic comedies to come with a warning label—something like, “Caution: May Affect Future Film Tastes.” Because for the first hour or so of Hello! How Are You?, reportedly the first Romanian rom-com since 1990, I found myself rolling my eyes at just about every plot point and joke, confident the film was merely an Eastern European version of You’ve Got Mail. Yes, some of the shots were a bit more clever than your standard wide-release romance, but still: There was the long-married couple whose relationship had lost its zip; the misleading glimpses they got of each other’s workaday lives that convinced each the other was having an affair; the Internet chat room their friends introduced them to at the same moment, where (and this is no spoiler) they meet each other, and hit it off anonymously. But the plot takes a turn toward the end that leaves Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks behind, and phony Hollywood tension is replaced by real, and touching, human emotions. Keep an open mind at the outset, or else you may—like me—feel you need to watch the whole thing again once it’s over.
At 8:30 p.m.; also on Saturday, April 9 at 9 p.m. Both showings at Avalon Theatre.