Seven flicks for seven couples

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peter Stein, executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, suggests some wedding movies that couples might want to watch — filled with wedlock woes and wonder — that couples might want to watch before they head down the aisle. So check out this list of the festival staff’s best bets — with tongue planted firmly in cheek — and enjoy!

You’ve heard of the film “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”? Well, here are “Seven Films for Seven Couples.”

“Plaza Suite” — Daddy’s little nightmare. Walter Matthau is the harried father of a bride who has locked herself in the bathroom in this classic Neil Simon comedy. (1971)

“Monsoon Wedding” — Jews and Greeks can’t hold a candle to big fat Indian weddings. The tagline says it all: “The rain is coming — and so is the family.” (2001)

“Late Marriage” (“Hatuna Meuheret”) — Boychik won’t marry, and mammeleh, you shouldn’t ask why. A dark comedy from Israel, in which a traditionalist mother insists on arranging a marriage for her eldest son, who resists for surprising reasons. (2001)

“God is Great (and I am Not)” (“Dieu est Grand, Je Suis Toute Petite”) — Be careful what you wish for! A non-Jewish spouse decides to convert, and becomes a little too Jewish in this charming French comedy starring Audrey Tautou. (2001)

“Chicks in White Satin” — Here comes the bride — both of them! This documentary will screen at the 2004 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which includes a tribute to gay marriage, with a Jewish twist! (1994)

“A Wedding” — Muffin’s lavish wedding to Dino (Desi Arnaz Jr.) has disaster written all over it. Robert Altman’s wicked send-up of WASP wedding rituals, with Carol Burnett, Mia Farrow, Geraldine Chaplin, Lauren Hutton and more. (1978)

“Fiddler on the Roof” — Tevye, five daughters, “Sunrise, Sunset” — what more can we say? It’s an icon. No wait, it’s a stereotype. Whatever; it’s good clean shmaltz, mit music. (1971)

Peter L. Stein is the executive director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The 24th annual event screens July 22 to Aug. 9 in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Rafael and on the Peninsula. Box office opens June 22. Information: www.sfjff.org