My favorite lesbian romantic film in the drama category is Elena Undone. I think we’ve firmly established that! If I had to pick a romantic comedy favorite, I’d be a little torn. I’ve mentioned Better Than Chocolate and Imagine Me and You before. Both lean more toward light comedy than drama and both have their merits. For now, just for all of the different nuances, I’m going to have to go with the 2008 movie (2010 DVD release), I Can’t Think Straight starring Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth. The film was directed by Shamim Sarif.
I Can’t Think Straight also has a strong drama element, but overall I would term it a romantic comedy. That’s interesting and a little risky given the back story in this movie. The two main characters, Tala (Lisa Ray) and Leyla (Sheetal Sheth) are playing roles as lesbian Muslim women from traditional families that have traditional expectations for their daughters.
Tala is from Jordan but she works in England. Her parents are planning the wedding of the century, so to speak, for her back in Jordan to a man they’ve picked and that they approve of. Leyla meanwhile is Indian, living in Great Britain. She’s dating a family approved man, Ali (Rez Kempton). The two women meet and begin to fall for each other. Both must deal with their traditional families and the values and expectations that come along with their respective backgrounds. It’s quite an engrossing ride.
There are many warm, funny and touching moments in the movie. The drama comes in most strongly during Leyla’s coming out scene. Additionally, there is a sexual component but, as this has a PG-13 rating, it’s not very racy. You’ll be left wanting a bit more – if that’s what you’re into!
I thought the acting was good here. These two characters felt real. Other’s have nit picked at it but I think, personal opinion, that the nit picking is a result of some prejudice against the accents (though everyone is very understandable) and the back story. My two cents. I would watch these two again together or separately in another movie.