This is a most wonderful film. The acting is first rate, the direction is well paced and the New York backdrop is a joy to see.
The story may appear contrived to some, but to me it was believable. Coming from a strong ethnic background (although not as strong as Jewish Orthodoxy or Observant Muslim), I understood the conflicts "typical" American culture and values place on those that are a little different. While we in America (especially the media) are tolerant of, accommodate and even promote, gays, lesbians, PETA, and most other non-mainstream groups, we don't tend to tolerate religious conservatives. This movie shows that such people are real people. Of course they are lucky to live in America where they can freely practice their beliefs.
The movie works on many planes. The father-daughter relationships are charming. The relationship between the young women and their principal, and with their siblings is also well done. The happy "Jane Austin" ending may not be totally realistic, but it makes most of us feel good inside.
It is both serious and funny. The plethora of ill-suited suitors is very funny; reminds me of the suitors the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding invites to dinner.
The lifestyle of Leah and the women's fellow teachers is a real picture of today's young people. They drink, smoke dope and "hook-up" without a second thought that there may be something wrong with such a life style.
This movie is all about freedom of choice. Freedom of choice means more than the freedom to make the choices in their lives. The two women have both made the choice to live a religious life. It is not a choice I would make, but it is a choice.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I laughed when it was funny and teared up when it was heart-warming, and came away looking forward to see it again. I highly recommend it.