15
votes

I saw bits of this on an overnight bus in Egypt in (I think) 2011. I couldn't follow any of the dialogue, and I think I fell asleep a few times missing a few segments, so this is all me reading between the lines of what I saw... Apologies for anything I misunderstood!

I think it was a film, but it could have been a few episodes of a TV series shown back-to-back with ads and credits skipped. It looked like a light-hearted romantic comedy, with more comedy than romance, and modern: I'd guess it was made between 2000 and 2010 (I believe characters used mobile phones, I don't remember seeing smartphones).

It was set in a large, modern, cosmopolitan, sprawling city in the Islamic world which spanned a major river: probably Cairo, possibly Beirut, possibly Istanbul but I think it was filmed in Arabic, not Turkish. It was being broadcast in Arabic when I saw it, and it didn't look dubbed, but the audio on the bus was terrible so I might be wrong about this. It was a very big river but the city didn't look coastal, similar to the Thames in London. The city was well developed with a modern urban skyline, but didn't look overtly flashy enough to be UAE, Dubai, etc.

The main character was a woman in her 20s who worked as a primary school teacher. She seemed bubbly and enthusiastic, and intelligent but naive or foolish. She reminds me of Zooey Deschanel's character in the US sitcom New Girl, in both personality and appearance. I think she lived with her mother (or, visited often); I don't remember there being a father character.

The story followed a pattern which repeated with comic familiarity:

  • The main character would meet a charming man, and start dating/courting.
  • That man had some distinctive lifestyle which was the main part of his appeal.
  • She'd enthusiastically/recklessly throw herself into this new world, changing her habits, activities, clothes, manner etc, creating drama and comedy.
  • She'd also change her approach to teaching, with one comic scene per segment with the children confused as she completely changed their classroom and lessons
  • Then, the man would do something that revealed him to be unworthy and that this glamorous-looking lifestyle was actually a shallow facade
  • She dumps him, upset, and her long-suffering mother picks up the pieces - until she meets someone else.

I didn't see all of it, but these are the boyfriends I remember:

  • A rich playboy. While dating him, she dressed glamourously and acted aloof in class as if she was now too cool to teach these kids. They went to a party on a riverboat: she seemed out of her element and clashed with the other women who seemed to look down on her. It ending with a fight between her and some other women where she was shocked to see that the boyfriend took the side of the other, richer, better connected women.
  • A Che Guevara-esque radical intellectual, with a beard and long hair. She became very shouty, wore grungy clothes (dungarees?) and filled the classroom with political placards and slogans. It ended when they went on a protest and, when the police came, he ran away, abandoning her to be arrested. There was then a scene where she was awkwardly sharing a holding cell with some real criminals - I might have remembered this wrong, but I think she was so angry at her ex that the criminals quickly became more afraid of her than she was of them.
  • A sharply-dressed rich TV evangelist imam. I remember he had a very flashy, modern office with big curved glass bay windows and panoramic views over the city. She became very devout, made her schoolkids wear traditional Islamic clothes and sit boys on one side, girls on the other. I think she then discovered some sort of hypocrisy on his part - either how he spent the money he raised, or his relationship with his devoted female assistants (or both!).

There are many similarities with madmada's suggestion of Ayza Atgawez below, but here are some differences which reading that answer made me think of:

  • I'm very confident that the main character was a teacher. I remember the scenes in the classrooms quite vividly, especially when she was dating the TV imam and had all the little boys dressed in white on one side of the room and the girls in black on the other.
  • The tone of this was quite light and frivolous, whereas Ayza Atgawez looks a little more heavy. I don't remember getting any sense that the main female felt especially under pressure (beyond her own frustration), and I don't think any of the relationships got close enough to marriage for that to be a major theme.
  • The relationships were presented as being quite casual. If it wasn't for the lead character's anger when they go wrong, I might have thought they were just friends. I think there was no physical contact at all, and very little flirty or intimate body language.
  • The main character, appearance-wise, was a little similar to the below example but a bit bubblier, with I think slightly shorter, lighter, curlier hair. Browsing related films etc on IMDB the closest I can find in appearance is Yousra El Lozy (example pic) but I don't think it's her, just more similar in appearance

closed as off-topic by JNat Jan 19 '18 at 12:47

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  • @NapoleonWilson Thanks, I'd been searching Meta for exactly that sort of policy and was actually half way through writing a question "What's the policy on regional cinema tags". Do you think you could edit that meta question title so that new users searching for that policy can actually find it? – user568458 Jun 6 '15 at 0:16
  • @user568458 There's also this one which might be easier to find. I long planned some kind of big FAQ meta question about tagging (and other non-help center policies) with links to individual questions. But that's the problem with plans, they're just plans. Thanks for your input, though. ;-) – Napoleon Wilson Jun 6 '15 at 0:18
4
votes
+50

I found it. As soon as I saw the image you posted I knew (sort of) who the actress is.

It's a movie called الثلاثة يشتغلونها (El Talata Yeshtghalonha) from 2010 starring Yasmin Abdel Aziz http://www.elcinema.com/person/pr1073676/

Here's a few images from the movie http://www.elcinema.com/work/wk1681255/photo_list/

enter image description here

enter image description here

On the riverboat

enter image description here

in the class

enter image description here

enter image description here

Here's the trailer

and here's the full movie

  • 1
    Seems like a match, well done. What are all those devil-horn "YES"s about, BTW? :D – Walt Mar 6 '16 at 9:29
  • @Walt The trailer don't show any any obvious content, but it seems like a "character trait" for some sort of comedic effect, or part of her mimicking to Hannah Montana – madmada Mar 6 '16 at 13:48
  • Yes! This is definitely it. Thanks! I can't believe it was the picture I posted of the wrong actress that did it, that's amazing! What does the name mean in English? Three something? – user568458 Mar 6 '16 at 21:49
  • 1
    Well, It helped that she's a fairly known actress, so adding how she look to being a comedic actress in a leading role narrowed down a lot. as of the movie name, the second word is a slang with no precise equivalent in English, but it could be translated as "All three are trolling her" – madmada Mar 6 '16 at 22:46
4
votes

Sounds like عايزة أتجوز

It's a comedic Egyptian tv show from 2010 about a woman wants to get married

From IMDB

"Ayza Atgawez" is an Egyptian series discusses the issues of marriage. The series is taken from a blog of the same name and revolves around pharmaceutical who strives to catch the marriage train before reaching the age of thirty, as well as pressure from her family to accept the first guy knocking on the door

Trailer 1

Trailer 2

Here're a few photos of the lead

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    +1 Very similar, and interesting, but I think this isn't it, I'm almost certain she was a teacher and not a pharmacist, and none of the screenshots or clips look familiar. While this character matches the description, I think the lead actress looked... different, more bubbly, less severe. Also, I think there was strictly no physical contact, and none of the relationships got close to marriage (at least, not in any of what I saw). Thanks for the link though, I'll check this out! – user568458 Feb 23 '16 at 16:42
  • :( I really thought it's the one – madmada Feb 23 '16 at 19:28
  • Me too! But I was most interested in finding out about how shows like this from the point of view of young single ladies are received, so this is still very useful! – user568458 Feb 23 '16 at 19:34
  • Well, it was a very successful show here in Egypt, but there wasn't anything special about how it was received since there's a lot of similar shows/movies with young female leads (The lead actress is a well known movie star anyway) – madmada Feb 23 '16 at 20:17
  • 2
    @user568458 - What made this show unique was that it was based on a blog where the author described her own misadventures with trying to get married. This made the writing really nice and fresh. It wasn't what you're looking for, but it's a hilarious show! – System Down Mar 1 '16 at 22:13

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