We just finished watching the movie, “Lost and Found in Armenia.” It stars Jamie Kennedy, and everyone around him is, for the most part, Armenian. It is a slice of Armenia that we can all relate to, whether we were born in Armenia, Turkey, Lebanon, or the United States. It is full of characters that we all know and can associate with. Beyond just being familiar, the Armenian characters in this film either look like or act like someone we can specifically name.
We knew the movie was being released this week. We searched Yahoo Movies to see if was being shown anywhere here. No luck. We read online that is was being shown in Detroit. For a minute, we thought about driving there to see it. After a little thought, we simply resolved to wait until it screened in Chicago.
On June 7, the opening night of the movie, we got a call from our friend Seta Semerdjian. She told us the movie was being offered on-demand on Comcast—the same day as the theatrical release. Cool. We dialed it in and watched it. It was engaging and hilarious. We watched it twice and will probably do so again, as the rental allows us to view the film for two days.
If we were to sum it up in one sentence, it’s the Armenian version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
The only real drawback in the movie is the sound. The dialogue is often drowned out by the music. They really should work on this to get it exactly right. Luckily, there were subtitles for the Armenian dialogue which made it easy, but this was not the case for the English dialogue and thus detracted from the movie. At times, the music was simply too loud. We were constantly adjusting the overall volume. There is simply no reason it has to be this way. I do hope the director and producers fix this issue.
The film was shot in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Armenia. The cinematography was much better than the sound. Anyone who has been to Armenia can relate to and enjoy the scenery. The cast was mostly Armenian. Jamie Kennedy was perfect in his role and it would be interesting to know how he got involved in this film. He must have an Armenian connection. The beautiful Angela Sarafyan was equally well cast as the female lead Ani. The real scene-stealer was Mikael Pogosyan who played Grandpa Matsak. Everyone in the village was memorable.
Kennedy plays an American who is vacationing in Turkey. Things go humorously amiss while he is parasailing and ends up falling out of the sky into an Armenian village on the Azeri border. As he thinks he is still in Turkey, he utters the few words in Turkish he knows. The Armenian villagers hear this and assume he is an Azeri spy. The whole thing is zany and we were laughing out loud watching it.
While being a comedy, the film touched on the struggle of Armenians as an isle of Christianity in a sea of Islam. It spoke to the necessity of fighting to protect what remains of our historic lands. The film also spoke to the overall folly of war and underlined the fact that Armenians are a peaceful people. These moments were pearls of seriousness found in the middle of this very entertaining and funny film.
It may not find a wide audience or any great critical acclaim, but it certainly is a film that all Armenians should see.