[A Matter of Size]

A charming Israeli movie in the tradition of The Full Monty, A Matter of Size is the story of a group of fat friends who have had enough of body hating diet groups and opt to give the health-at-any-size world of sumo a try.

The world is not all sunshine and roses: sumo is a club for men only, to the disappointment of at least one woman, and though the film is on the whole really good about the gay character and bear culture, there is one pretty upsetting line delivered to him. Aside from that, it’s a pretty by-the-book story about finding your bliss despite the haters, regardless of if the negativity is coming from the world, your friends, your family, or yourself.

I had been nervous going into it — there is a fine line between laughing with people and laughing at them — but I was relieved to see that the film fell on the right side of that line. In a lot of ways it’s a formula movie, but there’s nothing wrong with a formula elegantly executed.

Two cast/crew notes: The reluctant coach is played by Togo Igawa, who just graced SIFF’s screens this spring in the Golden Space Needle Award winner The Hedgehog, which has me wondering just how many languages he speaks.

Co-director Erez Tadmore also codirected Strangers, a bittersweet romance between an Israeli and a Palestinian who meet in Berlin during the World Cup Finals. It was a selection at SIFF a few years ago.

Verdict: See the original version before the inevitable tone-deaf American remake happens.