Touch of Pink
dir. Rashid
Opens Fri Aug 20
Fox Tower

The "Gay Guy Coming Out to His Family" premise has become a genre unto itself, which means filmmakers working within said genre are going to have to work a bit harder to separate their dogs from the pack. For his new sitcom-quality film Touch of Pink, writer/director Ian Iqbal Rashid didn't work nearly hard enough.

Jimi Mistry plays Alim, a South Asian Muslim who grew up in Canada, moved to London, and is homosexual. His mother, Nuru (Sue Mathew), is a devout woman embroiled in traditional Muslim culture. When Alim's cousin gets engaged, Nuru flies from Canada to London to try and convince Alim to come home for the wedding. What she doesn't know is that a) her son is gay as a coot, and b) he's living with a dashing British chap named Giles (Kristen Holden-Reid).

Feeble attempts at mayhem ensue: Alim stalls on telling the truth, making a few half-assed attempts to convince his mom that Giles is just a roommate. Giles becomes frustrated by Alim's failure to acknowledge their relationship and starts shacking up with some other stud. Throughout, Mistry (who looks like a girly Colin Farrell) registers each new twist with a vacant, tight-lipped anxiety that quickly becomes annoying. The amateurish script forces him to say lines like, "You know what's wrong with you, Giles? Nothing." But neither man seems particularly into the other--sure, they'll break up if Alim can't resolve things with his mother, but it's hard to get worried about their relationship's outcome when their passion seems so lifeless already.

The only memorable performance in Touch of Pink is Kyle MacLachlan's portrayal of Cary Grant, whose ghost hangs out in Alim's mind, offering companionship and frequently unhelpful advice when times are rough. MacLachlan's dialogue is as humorless as the rest of the script, but his Grant impersonation is so accurate (and the Grant part in general is so utterly pointless) that he resonates all the same. It wouldn't be a highpoint in any other movie, but in this hackneyed comedy of cultural manners, it is.