Lily James in Vibrant Rom-Com – The Hollywood Reporter

You have absolutely nothing to do with Tina Turner’s biography of the same name (except for the question mark), What’s Love Got To Do With It? Serves as a master class in how to faithfully adhere to the classic romantic comedy paradigm yet still appear with something delightfully delivered on either side of the hyphen.

As a director’s first foray into the rom-com arena Shekhar KapoorFrom Elizabeth And the Thief Queen Fame, Cross-Cultural Sparkling Sweets may not be the first to examine the practice of arranged marriage in the age of Tinder, but Kapoor’s emotional touch, operating from an epistemological screenplay by Jemima Khan, hits all the coveted marks.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

bottom line

Both heart and funny bone are given the attention they deserve.

Topped with a great performance by Lily James and a very funny performance by Emma Thompson, you’ll have the kind of world premiere TIFF post that tends to do well when the annual audience choice votes are tallied. It is not surprising that the name Working Title Films appears in the credits, given how convenient the productions are Really love / four weddings and a funeral musty.

Struggling to figure out what to do in order to appear, award-winning British documentary filmmaker Zoe (James) ends up training her camera for something decidedly close to home – her lifelong friend and next-door neighbor Kaz (Shazad Latif), who has informed her of his intention to respect the wishes of His parents born in Pakistan consent to an arranged marriage.

While the news came as a shock to Zoe, who apparently shares easy chemistry with Kaz, the concept doesn’t quite appeal to her, or her divorced mother Cath (Thompson), for that matter, who is trying to fix it with a cute vet for her dog (Oliver). Chris). After weathering a series of disasters on a date, Zoe is already beginning to wonder if Kaz’s mother might not be wrong when she advances family wisdom that it’s best to fall in love and walk in love – especially when the UK divorce rate is pointed out to unions Ranking is about one-tenth of the traditional guilds.

However, she admittedly was surprised when he told her that he was engaged to marry the seemingly introverted young woman (Sajal Ali) whom he had only met a week before via Skype. Zoe travels with her camera and mother to Lahore for the wedding festivities, revealing some truths that are revealed in the process.

Although there have been previous rom-coms about marriages dictated by the family “with help” versus the force of attraction, few have managed to strike the satisfying balance between laughter out loud, romantic longing and a sense of belonging so effectively captured in Kapur’s sensitive direction and Khan’s script.

But just because love may be blind, it does not mean that cultural and ethnic differences go unnoticed in contemporary society. It’s a remark Khan’s script isn’t shy about making on several occasions, including Kaz mentioning that he wanted to get to the airport early “so that I’d be chosen at random.”

Like Zoe, meanwhile, is the wonderful James, whose diverse body of work has carried out a whole gamut of Cinderella to me Pam and Tommyconveys a painful vulnerability as a young woman uses her camera as a buffer between her subjects and her personal fears and insecurities.

Lively shot by Remy Adivarasin (Oscar Nominated Elizabeth), which infuses production with rich, warm colors, with a similar ergonomic production design by Simon Elliott, What’s Love Got To Do With It? She succeeds rewardingly in answering her rhetorical question.

full credits

Venue: Toronto International Film Festival (presentation ceremony)
Cast: Lily James, Shazad Latif, Emma Thompson, Sajal Ali, Asim Choudary, Jeff Mirza
Production companies: STUDIOCANAL, Working Title Films, Instinct Productions
Director: Shekhar Kapoor
Screenwriter: Jemima Khan
Producers: Nikki Kentish Barnes, Jemima Khan, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
Executive Producers: Ron Halpern, Anna Marsh, Joe Naftalin, Sarmad Masoud, Sarah Harvey, Lucas Webb, Catherine Pomfret
Director of Photography: Remy Adivarasin
Production Designer: Simon Elliott
Editors: Jay Bensley, Nick Moore
Music: Nitin Sawhney
Sales: STUDIOCANAL

1 hour 48 minutes

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