The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt


X Large: Misguided But Cute Romantic Comedy

  • Ahmed HelmiAmy Samir Ghanem...
  • Comedy
  • Sherif Arafa
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
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X Large: Misguided But Cute Romantic Comedy

Ahmed Helmy plays Magdy, an overweight man with a bunch of female friends
who all see him as one of the girls, i.e. he’s about as sexually appealing to
them as a teddy bear. All he wants is a woman who can see past his ‘unsightly’
exterior and see him for who he is inside. He reconnects with Dina (Donia Samir
Ghanem), a girl he used to crush on back when he was a skinny kid, via Facebook
and they get to know each other over the phone, without ever having seen any
pictures of each other.

Dina, upon returning to Egypt, asks Magdy to pick her
up from the airport which he agrees to do while secretly praying that she
doesn’t turn out to be too conventionally attractive. When Magdy sees how
beautiful Dina is, he lacks the confidence to out himself as Magdy and instead
introduces himself as Magdy’s cousin Adel and informs her that Magdy had to
travel abroad. With his friends’ help, he proceeds to try and get her to love
him as Adel, fat and all. 

In this reviewer’s opinion, this film tries to tackle a deep issue yet
ends up perpetuating some pretty harmful stereotypes that only serve to
ostracize the overweight. Besides, social conventions of attractiveness shift
and anyway, and beauty is subjective; what one person sees as the epitome of
beauty, another would consider their definition of ugly.

Helmy dons a fan suit for pretty much the entirety of the film and thus
looks almost unrecognizable, the extra fat on his face does look quite fake
though. He gives a very sympathetic portrayal and it’s due to him that the film
comes across as merely misguided as opposed to mean or hateful.

Donia Samir
Ghanem as Magdy’s love interest manages to come across as simultaneously
peeved, exploitative and really, really nice. Her sudden flare ups and anger
management methods are also pretty funny. Amy Samir Ghanem has a small but
hilarious role as Mai, one of Magdy’s best friends. She meets a new guy
practically every day over the internet and, chameleon style, changes her
entire look and demeanor to fit the guy-du-jour’s taste becoming everything
from a hijabi to a geisha. Nahed El Sibai has an awesome cameo as a friend of a
friend who happens to be crushing on Magdy while mentally unstable and a
compulsive over-sharer.

Going into a Helmy movie, you know exactly what you’re going to get; a
light, funny film that all but charms your pants off and despite the sheer
proliferation of fat-person-eats-enough-food-for-an-army jokes, X Large doesn’t deviate from this

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Bolbol Hayran, Zarf Tarek

360 Tip

Mona Zaki (Helmy's wife) was rumoured to be playing a role in the film.

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