Monday, April 21, 2008

Nina's Heavenly Delights DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Latent Lesbians in Formulaic Female Empowerment Flick

When Prodigal Daughter Nina (Shelley Conn) returns to Glasgow for the first time in years to attend her father’s (Raad Rawi) funeral, it’s apparent that the young woman has something to hide. But between mourning and making the arrangements, her family’s too preoccupied to take any hints about her sexual preference.
Plus, they’re trying to save the jewel in their East Indian-Scottish clan’s crown, a famous curry house called “The New Taj.” Seems that the late patriarch had a gambling habit which left half the restaurant in the hands of Lisa (Laura Fraser), the attractive blonde now dating Kary (Atta Yaqub), Nina’s brother.
When the owner (Art Malik) of a rival eatery expresses an interest in buying the Taj, most of the Shahs are prepared to sell. But not Nina, whose jilted former fiancé (Raji James) is the man’s son. What nobody suspects is that she’s gay and would prefer to lock lips with Lisa than to hand the place over to her ex.
So, Nina concocts the perfect plan to save the Taj, namely, to enter and win the annual “Best of the West” cook-off competition. Fortunately, Lisa agrees, and the two new business partners proceed to flirt while whipping up recipes for the big showdown. Don’t be misled by Nina's Heavenly Delights’ promising premise, for as good as it might sound, the film fails to measure up to its potential.
Between its plodding pace and predictable plot developments, the production repeatedly fritters away opportunities to address meaningfully any of the assorted themes it dances around, ranging from homosexuality to family to tolerance to assimilation to male chauvinism to sexual preference. You know a cross-cultural, gender-bending dramedy has issues, when its most memorable moment is a blasphemous, bouncy Bollywood musical finale featuring a female impersonator.

Fair (1.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality.
Running time: 94 minutes
Studio: Genius Products
DVD Extras: Trailer.

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