“Love Worth a Second Date: ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ Review”
WRITING a rom-com in this very modern world must be like trying to remove honey from a bee hive.
Unless you are delicate, you are sure to get stung.
Jemima Khan’s screenplay about cross-cultural romance gives some CPR to the slow beating heart of the rom-comCredit: Alamy
With so many PC hoops to jump through and offences being taken, it can often feel like romance on the big screen is dead.
Luckily, Jemima Khan’s screenplay — inspired by her own cross-cultural marriage with former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran — is here to give some CPR to the slow beating heart of the rom-com.
The story is of filmmaker Zoe (Lily James), who is having lousy luck on dating apps, but also readily admits she goes for attached bad boys instead of thoroughly nice blokes.
Her best friend Kaz (Shazad Latif) reveals he is going to allow his Pakistani parents to choose him a wife in an arranged marriage, something that both horrifies and intrigues Zoe.
As Kaz’s matriarchal mother (Shabana Azmi), who has enjoyed her own decades-long arranged marriage, puts it: “You fall in like first, then in love.”
Kaz is a handsome, down-to-earth doctor and a catch. And the pressure is on him, as his very traditional family were devastated when his sister married a white man, resulting in them disowning her.
Having pitched the idea of a documentary on the union, called Love Contractually, to a TV company, Zoe and her kooky mum Cath (Emma Thompson) follow the family to a matchmaker, Skype meetings with a potential bride and then to Pakistan for a huge ceremony with the stranger.
But from behind the camera lens, Zoe starts to have feelings for Kaz and, yup, you guessed it, things get all cute and complicated.
Kaz’s top job doesn’t get in the way of his ability to make decisions in his private life.
Yet, sadly, Zoe falls into the cliché “career woman” character.
This means her desire to work hard and be successful has destroyed her ability to make good love choices and her mum is concerned she’ll miss her breeding window. Yawn.
But that aside, James makes this one-dimensional character shine far brighter than a lesser actor would.
And there are plenty of totally forgivable rom-com traits too, including everyone on seemingly average salaries having exquisite homes.
While this film probably won’t be the love of your life, it’s certainly worth a second date.
- RUSSELL CROWE plays real-life exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth in The Pope’s Exorcist.
- AVATAR: The Way Of Water has overtaken Titanic as third-highest grossing film of all time.
- KEIRA KNIGHTLEY investigates the serial killer in thriller, Boston Strangler.
THERE are more than a few hints the writers may have strayed from the true story that inspired this movie.
In 1985, a black bear consumed two million dollars’ worth of the white powder, dropped out of a plane over the US by a pair of drug smugglers.
This movie about a bear consuming two million dollars’ worth of cocaine is brilliant – and doesn’t take itself seriouslyCredit: Alamy
I am pretty sure, though, that the wild-eyed beast didn’t leap through the open doors of an escaping ambulance in slow motion and claw its way through the occupants as Just Can’t Get Enough by Depeche Mode blared out of the stereo.
Director Elizabeth Banks doesn’t repeat the mistakes of the recent humans v lion movie Beast by taking the subject matter in any way seriously.
The cast, which includes Keri Russell, Solo’s Alden Ehrenreich, Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr and the late Ray Liotta, keep tongues firmly in their cheeks as they stray into over-stimulated bear territory.
Limbs go flying, guts are savaged, blood coats the mountain paradise and there are plenty of laughs to be had at the expense of the oddball characters.
Naturally, the star is the coke-snorting bear. She’ll leave you on a high.
IDRIS ELBA is back in world-weary form for Netflix’s cinematic continuation of the BBC crime show.
But you don’t have to be committed fans of the previous series to get a kick out of DCI John Luther’s latest misadventure while on the hunt for serial killer David Robey, played by Andy Serkis.
Elba remains enticing as ever – though the motivations of the film’s psychotic villain are a little half-bakedCredit: 2023 Netflix, Inc.
Show creator and screenwriter Neil Cross has conjured a formidable foe for Luther after being thrown in prison.
Robey is a tech billionaire who uses hackers and surveillance software to blackmail civilians into killing themselves, as well play on their senses of shame to get them to do his bidding.
Serkis brings a lot of hamminess to Luther’s gritty world that takes you on a tour of London with Scandi-drama stylings.
The film shifts into espionage territory as Luther and Cynthia Erivo’s passionate Odette Raine, a counter intelligence operative, work together to take Robey down.
Yet the motivations of this psychotic villain are a little half-baked.
Elba remains an enticing lead who you can’t help but root for.
In cinemas now, on Netflix from Wednesday.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.