Picks and Pans Review: Torn Apart

updated 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/11/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Adrian Pasdar, Cecilia Peck

No doubt well-meaning, this film about a tragic romance between a young Israeli man and an Arab woman is painfully obvious and snail-paced.

The film, directed by an Israeli, Jack Fisher, opens with a flashback to 1961, when the lovers were childhood neighbors in Jerusalem. By 1973 the boy, Pasdar, is in the Israeli Army and the girl, Peck, lives among embittered Arabs on the West Bank.

Anybody who has heard of Romeo and Juliet knows what's going to happen, and it happens in stilted fashion. To cite one especially bizarre image, Peck's father tells her, "Your heart moves faster than your head."

While Pasdar (Vital Signs) laughs in a ha-ha fashion, he's competent, as is Peck (TV's Dress Gray), Gregory's daughter. They're backed, though, by a corps of supporting actors who would, in a less kosher-Muslim context, conjure images of half-baked ham.

Given the artificiality, it's hard to muster sympathy for the main characters' plight, which (in case you've just awakened from a 50-year nap) symbolizes the chronic inability of Arabs and Jews to live together. (R)

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