OK describing this film cannot be easy. It is an at times uncomfortable clash of whimsical comedy and tragedy is thrown in with a sense of realism which clashes with the fairy tale perspective of the former.
Rom com, musical, tragic, realistic, sentimental, funny..... Yes all of them, in fact I have read many professional reviews stating that trying to do too many things is the problem this film suffers from.
A fellow Amazon reviewer states that it plays to Western stereotypes of its area, perhaps it does, but I feel the messages are more universal and just as pertinent to the West.
Conflicts ostensibly created by power holding men and media, using religion as justification as contrasted with an underdog female, inclusive attempt to keep the peace and create harmony. Plus a look at how small places change when exposed to wider influences such as TV.
If you think the last paragraph was rubbish, this film probably isn't for you.
I like the unabashed sentimentality and respect that Nadine didn't downplay the real human cost of conflict. One could even suggest that the contrasting styles of the film reflect the related cultural group they portray.
Also I have to emphasise that the comedy is superbly observed and has great timing, it is laugh out loud funny at times.
It is more like a Gurinder Chadha film than Caramel (technically - in terms of reviewers tatses at least - probably a better film than this one), but this story is engaging and enjoyable, perhaps if it lacks anything really, it is depth of characterisation.
A romantic comedy with a bit of a message, it shouldn't work, but it did for me. Unless you are a fundamentalist (of any persuasion other than feminist) and/or hate women - give it a go, you may not watch it twice but you will watch it all I am sure.