Juliet and Juliet 

I Can't Think Straight's Tired Soap Operatics

In case the title and its easy punnage hasn't tipped you off, I Can't Think Straight is a bad movie about gay love. Feisty and beautiful Tala (Lisa Ray) is from a wealthy Jordanian family and is in the midst of planning her wedding to her fourth fiancé when she meets the equally lovely Leyla (Sheetal Sheth), an Indian Brit. The pair coyly spar over religion and politics and are soon making out in a hotel room, and while there's some post-coital pillow talk about how wrong and unacceptable this all is given their respective cultural backgrounds, their worrying seems to be more of an aphrodisiac than a source of heartache.

Were this a different movie, this scenario could have produced a pretty intense Juliet and Juliet situation—but in this film, cultural homophobia is little more than a tiny hiccup in the face of love. Eventually, Tala and Leyla each come out to their parents in scenes that make you wonder what the big deal was in the first place—the moms yell, the dads shrug, and that's that, it's happily ever after for these two star-crossed lesbians, not so star-crossed after all.

I was mostly annoyed while watching I Can't Think Straight—cinema relying purely on the sentiment "oh-no-I'm-gay" seems so 10 years ago. While this movie had an opportunity to take it a bit further than that—being gay while being Muslim or Middle Eastern does still have a stigma ripe for exploration—it fails to do so. For all of Tala's talk of "This is not okay," it pretty much always feels... well, okay. Between its angsty cries of so-wrong-but-so-right and constantly too-soft lighting, I Can't Think Straight comes across not as a straight-shooting exploration of cultural homophobia and forbidden love, but as a soap-operatic diversion.

I Can't Think Straight
Rated PG-13 · 80 min.
Official Site: www.icantthinkstraight-themovie.com
Director: Shamim Shaif
Writer: Shamim Shaif
Producer: Hanan Kattan
Cast: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Antonia Frering, Dalip Tahil, Nina Wadia, Ernest Ignatius, Siddiqua Akhtar, Amber Rose Revah, Anya Lahiri and Kimberly Jarai

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