Between the venue, the flowers, the music and the catering, the groom at a wedding might be forgiven for sometimes thinking he’s an afterthought.

In the Israeli romantic comedy “The Wedding Plan,” that’s literally true.

Writer-director Rama Burshtein’s movie has a high-concept premise — what if you planned a wedding and had everything except a groom? But the surprising thing is that the movie has a soulful and humane heart within that premise.

The Wedding Plan

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Michal (Noa Koler) is a devout ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jew living in Israel, and is desperate to get married. In an impassioned speech to a matchmaker, she says “I want to be normal. I want to give, I want to receive.” Right off the bat, we sense there’s something deeper that sets Michal apart from the typical romantic comedy heroine.

Michal is matched up with Gidi, who seems like a nice guy, and a wedding date is set. But, a month away from the wedding, Gidi declares he doesn’t love Michal and bows out. Determined, Michal doesn’t cancel the ceremony, certain that God will find her a husband in the next 30 days.

In some ways, “The Wedding Plan” follows the structure of a romantic comedy, right down to the montage of bad first dates Michal endures looking for her Plan B. One guy, who averts his eyes over dinner because he insists he’ll only look at the woman he’s meant to marry, is quite a puzzle: How will he know when he meets his future wife if he never looks at anybody? There’s also a dalliance with a famous pop star (Oz Zehavi) who sees something admirable, if odd, in Michal’s resolute faith.

What’s different is that all the characters in the film are Orthodox Jews, which means this is a romantic comedy where men and women never kiss or even touch each other. That may seem limiting, but like in her previous feature “Fill the Void,” Burshtein (herself an Orthodox Jew) finds endless opportunities for both drama and comedy in the intersection between religious tradition and human emotion.

That’s especially true in Koler’s performance, who has to convey all her conflicting emotions without the benefit of a climactic kiss or any other dramatic gesture. She’s a remarkably subtle actor, and Burshtein wisely keeps the camera close on her face to capture every expression as belief and doubt wrestle within her. There’s one shot where see Michal starts to smile, then tear up, then smile wider and then come back to the verge of tears, all in a single unbroken close-up.

As the wedding date grows closer, Michal’s doubt grows as her bridesmaids and family become more and more convinced that, somehow, God will find a way to put a groom next to her at the ceremony. How “The Wedding Plan” ends I won’t spoil, but it is that rare romantic comedy that manages to be satisfyingly familiar and bracingly different.

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