Even in this age of televised shaming on The Biggest Loser, fat remains a taboo. Though there's little to recommend about this broad Israeli comedy, about four obese friends who form a sumo wrestling club, it's heartening to see a heavy couple heavy-petting in a car—just like any other impetuous lovers. The romance between shy, mother-smothered Herzl and take-charge Zehava might've worked as a stand-alone, like Marty in Hebrew, or the sumo might've progressed beyond Karate Kid training montages in the woods. (Herzl finds a Japanese sumo coach at the sushi restaurant where he works.) But the film is fatally divided among Herzl (Itzik Cohen) and his three buddies, each with a different PROBLEM TO RESOLVE. And as Zehava, actress Irit Kaplan doesn't get the screen time she deserves. Filmmakers Erez Tadmoor and Sharon Maymon appear to have learned their craft by watching My Big, Fat Greek Wedding a few thousand times, then decided to make it broader. Every time you start to care about one of the sumo wrestlers, he sits on a chair and it breaks! Because he's fat! Hilarious! But on the positive side, A Matter of Size will make you hungry for sushi afterward. And poor, dead Chris Farley will never have to suffer the indignity of appearing in the American remake.
Where's Pat Morita when you need him?
Runs at SIFF Cinema, FRI., Oct. 15- Wed., Oct. 20. Not rated. 92 minutes.