Movie Review: Breaking Fast

Mo (Haaz Sleiman) is a Muslim man living in West Hollywood with his partner Hassan (Patrick Sabongui), who is preparing to host his annual dinner for his family to celebrate the last night of Ramadan. While Mo’s relatives are accepting of his homosexuality, Hassan is not so lucky, and he admits to Mo that he was planning to marry a woman to appease his parents. Mo finds this unacceptable, and they wind up breaking up. Skip ahead one year to the first day of the following Ramadan, and Mo is still single, despite the efforts of his best friend Sam (Amin El Gamal) to set him up on a date. During Sam’s birthday party, Mo meets Kal (Michael Cassidy) and finds himself feeling unexpectedly drawn to him. The two begin spending more and more time together and possibly beginning to fall in love.

This is a sweet movie, featuring believable characters, that portrays an experience that hasn’t shown up in too many movies before, if any. There have been other films and TV shows that have explored how members of the LGBTQ+ community reconcile their religious beliefs with their lived experiences, but they have been predominantly told from a white, Christian perspective, so it is refreshing to come across a more diverse story. Don’t be mistaken though, this is not a 92 minute theological debate. While the topic does come up, this is still above all else a story about a man falling in love, and learning to be more open and understanding towards others in the process.

While a few members of the peripheral cast can feel a little bit amateurish, the performances here are mostly excellent, with all of the leads truly bringing their characters to life. The chemistry between Mo and Kal is entirely convincing, and it’s impossible not to root for them throughout. Writer and director Mike Mosallam does an excellent job of blending the movie’s more serious moments with its lighter ones, and gives viewers plenty to contemplate without belaboring a point, while his direction stays out of the way and lets the story and performances shine on their own. If you’re looking for a movie to watch for Pride Month, this would make for an excellent choice, that will leave you just as in love with Mo and Kal as they are with each other. ★★★★

Available on Kanopy with your library card and on Hulu with a subscription.

Not Rated. Contains language, nudity, and sexual content.

★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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