I Can't Think Straight

Fall asleep flipping channels between Oxygen, Here!, and Lifetime, and you’re likely to find Shamim Sarif’s slickly innocuous lesbian romance now showing on your eyelids. (“Slick” isn’t the half of it—every image seems to have been Scotchgarded.) On neutral ground in London, Jordanian bride-to-be Tala (Lisa Ray) locks almond eyes with her guy pal’s reserved British-Indian girlfriend Leyla (Sheetal Sheth); after some smoldering glances and getting-to-know-you dirty dancing, the women wind up in a damnably PG-13 clinch of peekaboo midriffs and daringly bared shoulders. All that remains is for the lovers to break off their hetero relationships (glossed over in the most zipless way imaginable) and break the news to their families (the dads are fountains of fatherly tenderness; the moms wail), save for some third-act complications scarcely more troubling than the ones that delay Zack and Miri’s hookup. The premise gives novelist turned filmmaker Sarif (who scripted with Kelly Moss) a boiling stew of cultural conflicts concerning Muslims, Hindus, and second-generation Westerners, but the movie addresses them by combining the blandest elements of assimilation drama and coming-out comedy into mildly spicy fluff. In a glamorous cast that might’ve been sculpted from fondant, however, Ray and Sheth are as appealing romantically as they are visually.
Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2008

 
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