Shirin in Love
Film Review by Kam Williams
Bride-to-Be Gets Cold Feet in Cross-Cultural Comedy
Shirin (Nazanin Boniadi) has never really found the courage to pursue her own dreams. For example, after graduating from college and law school, instead of going into practice, she moved back home and began writing book reviews for BH Style, a magazine owned by her domineering mother (Anita Khalatbari). The deferential daughter knows her problems stem from livings under the same roof as her very traditional Iranian-American parents. Furthermore, they’re members of a tight-knit community located in a section of L.A. known as Tehrangeles.
Consequently, more out of obligation than love, she accepted the marriage proposal of Dr. Joon (Maz Jobriani), a successful, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who shares the same background. But with the wedding day fast approaching, Shirin is belatedly questioning the wisdom of tying the knot with a man she’s not passionate about just because everyone else considers him to be Mr. Right.
A fly lands in the prenuptial ointment the night she spots a handsome hunk (Riley Smith) across a crowded room at a publishing party. Trouble is she’s tipsy at the time, and he’s too much of a gentleman to make a pass, given the situation. And since he lives far away in the coastal town of Mendocino, they seem fated to pass like ships in the night and never see each other again.
However, thanks to a frankly farcical series of coincidences they cross paths once more when Shirin ventures to Northern California on a writing assignment in search of an interview with a notoriously-reclusive, best-selling author (Amy Madigan). This time around, she and William do make a love connection, leaving the blushing bride-to-be in quite a quandary.
Thus unfolds Shirin in Love, a formulaic romantic comedy that eschews breaking new ground in favor of resorting to a slew of shopworn Hollywood clichés. For that reason, the most amusing aspect of this otherwise predictable romp is the presumably-authentic peek offered into Iranian culture. Nevertheless, you’re left with a nagging a sense of déjà vu that’s hard to shake.
My Big Fat Iranian Wedding!
Good (2 stars)
In English and Farsi with subtitles
Running time: 104 minutes
Distributor: Sideshow Releasing