Caramel on DVD: Free candy, anyone?

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We here at PopSmart are so excited that Caramel — the critically praised Lebanese romantic comedy centered around a beauty shop — is finally being released on DVD (June 17) that we were able to score free copies in advance to give to you, our readers/cult followers.

As reviewed by Curt Holman back in February, Caramel is a heartwarming story of women looking for love in Beirut under some of the more predictable (and not-so-predictable) constraints in living in an at times conservative Arab culture.

In keeping with Steel Magnolias and Beauty Shop, Caramel’s beauty parlor provides the stage for minidramas involving several beauticians and their regulars. Writer/director Nadine Labaki plays Layale, who has an unsatisfying affair with a married man while ignoring the overtures of a neighborhood police officer (Adel Karam). A neurotic actress (Gisèle Aouad) fights the aging process while a warm-hearted seamstress (Sihame Haddad) discovers romance late in life, even though her senile sister makes dating nearly impossible. However predictable, Caramel makes a virtue of its loose structure and unresolved plot threads, giving the film the texture of real life instead of a conventional romantic comedy.

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We'll give away as many copies of Caramel as we can to those who can tell us which famous director Curt Holman compares the movie's director to when describing the film's lush cinematography. Email your answers to davidlee.simmons@cln.com, and we'll hook you up.

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