Running for the Ideal Family Award, we soon discover that Mariam’s (Lebleba) family is anything but. She has been raising her family for over a quarter of a century, and things have mostly gone according to plan. That is, until a committee comes to evaluate the family for the Ideal Family competition, whereupon all hell breaks loose.

The family is composed of a loving mother and father (Fouad Selim plays an extension of his Ayza Atgawez fatherly figure) and five kids covering all adolescent stages up to early adulthood. The youngest is Mickey, and in a nod to the classic 60s family film A’elet Zizi, the film is named after him.

On an average school day, Mariam wakes her younglings up to a hearty breakfast, after which they head out to school, while her eldest starts his work day as a cop. Surprise, surprise; most of the kids skip school. The college student goes to his usual Play Station spot, the younger son fights on the street, and the teenage girl stays at home and uses Facebook to flirt with boys.

As you would expect from a poster that flaunts all primary colours, A’elet Mickey is light-hearted for the most part. The neighbourhood of Heliopolis is prominently featured with many of its iconic squares and streets, and the film has a mellow visual aesthetic to match its tone. Director Akram Farid executes some nice and interesting shots and captures the warmth of the Egyptian family.

Lebleba plays the part of the strong-willed mother with mixed results. Her full make-up and stiff facial expressions fail to emote the care of a concerned mother, while the rest of the cast do their best to bring their characters to life, which renders some uncomfortable performances.

Older generations out of touch with today’s neologism will benefit the most from watching the film, which will help them understand the latest (and sometimes dated) lingo. The film ends up trying too hard as a whole while attempting to catch up with the ever-growing slang.

There is an obvious lack of conflict to carry the film through, with the characters encountering only a few minor setbacks. A’elet Mickey marches ahead steadily with a strong sense of purpose that wasn’t really examined, though it’s unclear if they had one to begin with.