n the lovely British film Touch of Pink, Jimi Mistry plays Alim, a quiet young South Asian man who fled his domineering mother and the Canadian burbs for a happier, gayer life in London. Things worked out well — he’s got a good job as a photographer and a nice, trendy flat that he’s decorated with lush nude portraits of his hunky blonde boyfriend Giles (the impossibly cute Kristen Holden-Ried).
And since this is a coming-out comedy, you’re probably wondering when the mother shows up (soon), and suspecting that she doesn’t know her son is gay (she doesn’t). You expect Alim will convince Giles to act like his straight roommate (he does) and that poor Giles will eventually get fed up before some tearful, uplifting reunion (ditto). But that’s fine: you’re smart, and so is this film.
Even though Ian Iqbal Rashid’s movie delivers a predictably wacky riot of get-straight hijinks, they all work, thanks largely to a charming performance by Jimi Mistry, one of Britain’s best young actors. And Rashid introduces a surprising plot device in the form of Alim’s imaginary friend, played by Kyle MacLachlan, in the form of Cary Grant. MacLachlan’s Grant appears randomly, often ascotted and intruding at the worst possible moment, to offer the insecure, brittle Alim some increasingly absurd advice on life and love, which usually boils down to travel recommendations and false bravado. It’s a screwball-comedy device, combined with a saccharine romance plot, but somehow the combo plays out to the best. The film’s a bright episode in a dark genre, and a nuanced look at the ways our infatuation with stars often plays out in the strangest ways, and across the strangest borders.
©2004 Logan Hill and Nerve.com.