Turkish for Beginners at Goethe-Institut Washington Monday, July 7

When it comes to romantic comedy meet-cutes, getting stranded on an Indian Ocean island after a plane crash with a handsome Turk is about as twee as it comes. But that’s exactly how neurotic German teenager Lena meets macho Cem (as well as his deeply religious sister and a Greek guy with a speech impediment) in director Bora Dağtekin’s Turkish for Beginners. As they struggle to survive island life, boundaries are tested, friendships are made, and clothes come off. And while the youngsters are stranded in paradise, Lena’s hippie mom and Cem’s police officer dad have a series of adorable rendezvous as they look for their missing children. Sure, the whole thing reads like a frothy romantic comedy, but remember: It’s German. The cultural contrast between Germans and Turks provides enough serious content to make this more significant than most cheesy rom-coms. The film shows at 6:30 p.m. at Goethe-Institut Washington, 812 7th St. NW. $4–$7. (202) 289-1200. goethe.de/washington.

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