Wax On, Wax Off

Try thinking of director Nadine Labaki’s Caramel as a Steel Magnolias for Middle Eastern sensibilities, only also set amid an ultraconservative, male-dominant Arab culture. Thankfully, inside a Lebanese hair salon, working Beirut women can dish unfiltered gossip without reproof, and partake in proprietress Layale’s (Labaki) candied hair-removal technique: She slaps gobs of waxy caramel on backs and legs, aiming to restore hairless, feminine beauty to her shaggy clients.

Here, under the bell-shaped dryers, customers vent love woes: 50-something actress Jamale doggedly denies that she’s going through menopause, hairstylist Nisrine isn’t a virgin but fears her Muslim fiancée would break the engagement if he found out, and shampooist Rima finds herself smitten with a female salon client. Sample this sticky confectionary for yourself all week at Sunrise 11 Cinemas (4321 Pine Island Rd., Sunrise). Tickets run $6.50 to $8.75. Call 954-748-0333, or visit www.sunrisecinemas.com.
March 14-28, 2008

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Phillip Valys