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Moos (Jip Smit), a shy Jewish girl in her early-twenties, bombs her audition for a spot at a theatre school in the Netherlands. Instead of confessing to the school’s rejection, she lies to her father (Michiel Romeyn) and tells him she was accepted. As Moos tries to keep the fib under wraps, she also has trouble hiding another truth: that she is in love with an old friend, Sam (Daniel Cornelissen).

Despite a refreshing performance from the female lead, Moos is about as predictable as romantic comedies get. It took the work of three screenwriters (including director Job Gosschalk) to rehash worn conventions, although with a couple of Jewish-oriented updates. (A rather intense circumcision scene and a climactic sequence at a bar mitzvah add a bit of original cultural flavour.) But, much of the storytelling is simplistic; for example, an overlong Hanukkah dinner speech near the start introduces each character and their situations inorganically. At other moments, conflicts between characters are resolved easily, without consequences.

Smit, with wide eyes and an angular face, gives her protagonist a nervous energy that keeps our interest. Romeyn is also terrific as a lonely man hoping to find love. The father-daughter chemistry is poignant without becoming sappy. Even with good performances, the slight and derivative plotting ensures this 91-minute film feels much longer.