I Can't Think Straight

"Weak"

I Can't Think Straight Review


A decent plot and strong characters can't quite overcome the limitations of this low-budget film, mainly because the director struggles to inject much energy or spark into the story. Which is frustrating for a premise with this much potential.

In Amman, Tala (Ray) constantly breaks off engagements, to the consternation of her Christian parents. The latest wedding looks like it's going ahead, but during a trip to London, Tala visits a pal (Kempton) who's dating a Muslim Indian, Leyla (Sheth). Sparks ignite between the women, who both know there's no way they can pursue a romance due to the demands of their home cultures.

Even so, Leyla decides she has to be true to herself, but Tala believes she needs to follow through with her marriage in Jordan.

The film strikes a breezy rom-com tone, so it's fairly clear where everyone will end up, even though the plot cleverly twists and turns the situations. It helps that the characters are vivid and detailed, even if personalities are painted in broad brush strokes. Most characters are thoroughly likeable, and the combinations of ethnicity, religion and sexuality provide plenty of material for the filmmakers and the cast members to work with.

So it's extremely frustrating that it never gets beneath the surface. The direction stiffly focuses on lame comedy shtick (a corny subplot about Wadia's snide housekeeper is particularly weak). There are a few good lines ("But some of my best friends are Lebanese!"), but most of it is played too broadly to resonate. And sexuality and racial issues are shown in extremely obvious ways.

Underneath this, the script raises some seriously strong issues, examining the tension between acceptability and happiness.

Essentially, this is one of those films that feels like it was made too quickly. The screenplay needed at least two more drafts to fix the dodgy plotting and, more importantly, to eliminate the stereotypes. This under-development leaves the plot with little pacing or momentum, even though we do root for Leyla and Tala to deal with their personal issues and live happily every after. It's just about engaging enough, but it should have been much, much better.



I Can't Think Straight

Facts and Figures

Run time: 82 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 1st November 2008

Distributed by: Regent Releasing/here! Films

Production compaines: Enlightenment Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 27

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Shamim Sarif

Producer: Hanan Kattan

Starring: as Tala, as Leyla, Antonia Frering as Reema, Dalip Tahil as Omar, as Housekeeper, Ernest Ignatius as Sam, Siddiqua Akhtar as Maya, as Yasmin, Anya Lahiri as Lamia, Kimberly Jaraj as Zina, Sam Vincenti as Kareem, Rez Kempton as Ali, as Hani (as Daud Shah), George Tardios as Uncle Ramzi, Ishwar Maharaj as Sami, Gabrielle Amies as Aunty Ramzi, Jessica Allsop as Jennifer

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.