A review of the new rom-com movie “What’s Love Got To Do With It?’

The rom-com is such a staple of the cinematic diet that any addition to the genre has to find a new angle. In this case, the novel element is the comparison of arranged marriage – or assisted marriage, as it now called – which is so common in the Indian sub-continent (with a very high survival rate) and the so-called love marriage which is standard in the West (with an appalling success rate).

The screenwriter has some personal experience to bring to bear, since Jemima Goldsmith married for love in an Islamic ceremony to former cricketer and later Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, but divorced nine years later. This choice of subject enables some more novelty: many actors of Pakistani heritage and some location shooting in Lahore. The director is Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur who has made such classic works of British history as “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”.

So there is some distinguished pedigree here, but this is not a film that will win awards, just one that will satisfyingly entertain anyone who is a romantic (like me). The two leads are good-looking and watchable: documentary filmmaker Zoe (Lily James) and oncologist Kazim (Shazad Latif), the former commitment-phobic and the later keen to follow his community’s traditions. In real life, such cultural differences might prove problematic, as Jemima Goldsmith found, but in reel life the end is never in doubt.


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