Even Chekhov thought he was writing comedies, but the bracing first feature by writer and director Katia Lewkowicz, “Bachelor Days Are Over,” billed as a comedy in the current New York Jewish Film Festival, would serve audience expectations better if it had been given an English title closer to its original French one: “Pourquoi tu pleures?” (“Why are you crying?“). The film is a rueful portrait of Arnaud (nicknamed Cui-Cui), a man-child passing several errant days before his wedding in a state of existential angst after he beds a gal he meets at his bachelor party night-on-the-town, and begins to question his choice of bride, Anna, who has done a short-lived disappearing act of her own.
In scenes that have the sweet-sour perfume of “The Hangover” mixed with Federico Fellini’s “I Vitelloni,” Cui-Cui goes drinking and carousing with his buddies, plans a reception with the input of his manic older sister, and roams aimlessly through his last free days. He meets his fiancee’s extended non-French speaking family, touches base with his needy yet still beautiful widowed mother, and deals with a real estate agent who interrupts his most recent sexcapade with an unscheduled visit. Then his apartment floods. The chaos of his daily life, familial demands, and memories of a father who first abandoned the family and then died, all send the sober (if not necessarily sensible) Arnaud into a state of paralysis.