It would be a mistake to get overexcited about the modest, winning Israeli film "Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi" beyond reporting that it is modest and winning.
But for 94 minutes it does quite a nice job transferring the fabulous old chestnut recently desecrated by the Hilary Duff vehicle "A Cinderella Story" into middle-class Tel Aviv.
In this variant, our heroine is a he, a seemingly retarded boy flunking everything in school, whose earnest labor holds together a totally dysfunctional household. An indifferent mother and a stupid brother stand in for the evil stepmother and her wicked stepdaughters. They busily live their lives, taking poor Shlomi for granted; he cooks, he cleans, he is the butt of all jokes, and in all the travails of his life, only his slightly mad and certainly senile grandfather believes in him. You can't say that some day his princess will come because she's already here -- she's the girl next door.
Of course, it turns out that Shlomi -- played with a mixture of wide-eyed innocence and utterly slow responses by Oshri Cohen -- is secretly of the nobility, though not of social rank, breeding or even beauty, but of an even rarer species of excellence. The joy in the film is watching as this reality is uncovered -- his high school principal is the Fairy Godmother -- and it slowly dawns on all those who took Shlomi for granted just how special he is.
The movie's primary pleasure is the pleasure of the fairy tale: the restoration of moral order and the rightful placing of people in the social order. Everybody gets what he or she deserves, and don't you just love it when that happens? In real life it never seems to occur, but in "Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi" it's the main event.
Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi (94 minutes, in Hebrew with subtitles, at Landmark's E Street Cinema) is not rated but would probably rate a PG-13 for sexual references.