A travel columnist from New York City goes to Tel Aviv to write about the city and sublets an apartment of a young good looking Israeli man but ends up drawn not just to Tel Aviv but to the young man himself.
Michael (John Benjamin Hickey) has a partner back in NYC and both are grieving over the loss of a child they had hoped to raise as their own. Tomer (Niv Nissim) really needs money and is happy to sublet his apartment – he struggles to earn a living as a filmmaker and is still trying to figure out what kind of films he wants to make. Tomer can’t imagine settling down and is into casual sex, avoiding anyone who wants to get serious. Michael hasn’t been to Israel since his Bar Mitzvah trip, which he didn’t enjoy much – his Jewish identity has never meant much to him. So Michael is surprised to find a city filled with fascinating contradictions and pulsing with life. Michael is also surprised to find that he it taking a liking to Tomer. They form an unlikely and intense bond as Tomer shows Michael around Tel Aviv, and also when Tomer shows Michael his playful side. But with a partner back home, and a deadline to meet, Michael needs to focus on both despite his growing affection for Tomer.
Director Eytan Fox, born in New York City and raised in Israel, really shows off Tel Aviv and the budding relationship between Michael and Tomer. While Hickey, an experienced stage and screen actor, really shines in his role, Nissim can’t quite convince us as the struggling filmmaker and young stud. Nevertheless, ‘Sublet’ is enjoyable and will make you want to go to Tel Aviv, next year.
In Theaters on June 11 and On Demand on July 9
Review by Tim Baros