Zachary Levi, Fran Kranz, Brian George, Sarah Shahi
Janet: Ray, promise me something. Listen to the voices in your head.
Ray: It’s kinda hard not to! There’s a lot of ’em in there right now.
Janet: Well, what are they saying?
Ray: Mainly that I’m an a**hole.
Ray (Levi) is the son of a Caucasian mother and Pakistani father. He’s spent his whole life feeling like one of a kind. Ray’s in love with a Caucasian woman, Noel (Bonnie Somerville), and wants to marry her, but his father wants him to marry a Pakistani woman. While Noel is away on a cruise with her family, still not having answered Ray’s proposal of marriage, Ray’s father convinces him to meet a Pakistani girl who is the daughter of a friend. When Ray meets Sana (Sarah Shahi) – and discovers she is also the product of a Caucasian/Pakistani marriage – he realizes they have a lot in common and starts to question his relationship with Noel.
This is about as hit and miss as a movie can get. A lot of the comedy is on the level of a failed sitcom, and it doesn’t help that many of the actors are best known for TV roles. Many of the jokes are delivered as though the actors are expecting an audience, or laugh track, to come along and rescue them. The character of Sal (Kranz) is particularly annoying, and seems like he walked out of some bad 80’s beach comedy.
The stuff that actually works are the more dramatic relationship moments. Ray and Sana have a good chemistry, so their scenes feel pretty authentic. Also, the discussions of race and why interracial marriages might, or might not, work are fairly interesting. There are some genuinely touching scenes between Ray and his father (even though I can’t help but see Brian George as Babu from Seinfeld). I just wish the same care went into writing the comedy that went into writing the more serious dialogue.
For a while I thought that I didn’t know where the movie was going, but then it ended up right where I expected it to from the early going. I mean, when one female interest is dull and borderline annoying, and the other one is sweet and funny, generally you know how things will turn out. They do a pretty good job of making it believable, up to a point, but then the end feels a little tacked on.
This is not a terrible film, but it certainly could have been better than it was. As is, it’s only half terrible. That would be the half where they try to be funny.
Marriages between white women and Pakistani men produce very attractive children.
10 – 3.7 for failed attempts at comedy – 1 for predictability + .2 for a few good serious moments = 5.5