Touch of Pink

A screwball comedy, generation gap, and gay man's family coming to terms with his sexuality merge into Touch of Pink, a melting pot of a film. The one element that differentiates this from any other of the three aforementioned genres is Kyle Maclachlan. This is Maclachlan's (Northfork, Me Without You) most unusual role in years; he plays the Spirit of Cary Grant. And he is simply hilarious in the role. He does a fantastic vocal impersonation of Grant, who is the conscience of protagonist Alim (Jimi Mistry, The Guru, The Mystic Masseur), and pops in to offer advice as only he can. More amusingly, he has many of the outdated attitudes prevalent in Grant's time, leading to some very strange suggestions. Alim is gay, and lives in London with his boyfriend Giles (Kristen Holden-Reid, K-19, Gossip), a successful economist. Alim is a successful photographer, and the two are very much in love.

However, Alim is also an Indian Muslim, and his family, who lives in Canada, has no idea whatsoever about his preference for men. Over in Canada, Alim's mother Nuru (Suleka Mathew, Life or Something Like It, Lift), reaches new levels of anxiety when Dolly (Veena Sood, Connie and Carla, Final Destination 2), her sister, announces that her son Khaled (Raoul Bhaneja, Cold Creek Manor, Godsend) is engaged. The sibling rivalry between Nuru and Dolly is intense, and this prompts Nuru to nag Alim about his future. Things worsen for Alim once Nuru decides to visit. Although the relationship between Alim and Gilles is strong, his fear of his mother is stronger, prompting a ruse where Gilles pretends to be Alim's roommate. The stakes go up again when Alim announces he too is engaged, to Delia (Liisa Repo-Martell, Bastards, Washed-Up), who is actually Gilles' sister.

Now, Alim faces the existential question of who he really is, and what is most important to him. Writer/director Ian Iqbal Rashid (Stag, Surviving Sabu) manages to keep things light for most of the film. The typical plot conventions of near misses, mistaken identities, and lies building upon lies occur, and while it is all predictable, it's still breezy fun. It's also pretty obvious that at some point Alim will come out to his mother, and there will be a rift in his relationship with Gilles, leaving him utterly alone and depressed, and that something happy will happen and make everything all better. The one story element that does not mesh well with everything else is a late revelation about Khaled. While it does spur the plot on to its conclusion, and is necessary in order for everything else to fall into place, it feels out of place, almost like it was dropped in from a different film.

Touch of Pink isn't the type of movie where people go to be surprised, and Rashid knows what he needs to do to please audiences. For the most part, the tone of the movie is light, and the actors seem to be having fun. Mistry is building a decent resume of roles (he was great in East is East) and is probably poised to cross over into non-Indian roles. Mathew's character, especially in the beginning, is more of a caricature, but she eventually develops some death. But it is the presence of Maclachlan, and character actor Brian George (Bubble Boy, Ghost World) that enliven the proceedings. It's almost completely predictable, but still manages to be fun.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 31 minutes, Rated R for sexual content and brief language.

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