There must be a special breed of vicious person who dreams up obstacles for lovers in romantic movies. Two people meet and we know they're made for each other, whether they do or not; but one thing and another keep them apart until the final reelor beyond, if it's that kind of story.
I Can't Think Straight reunites lesbian filmmaker Shamim Sarif ( The World Unseen ) with her muses, Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth, who may become the Tracy and Hepburn ( Hepburn and Hepburn? ) of lesbian cinema.
Tala ( Raye ) is celebrating her fourth engagement. So far she's been always a fiancée, never a bride. She might make it this time if her old friend Ali ( Rez Kempton ) didn't introduce her to the woman he's dating, Leyla ( Sheth ) .
The women get into a heavy discussion of religion and politics at their first meeting. "Don't they have small talk in the Middle East?" London-raised Leyla asks. "This IS small talk in the Middle East," Tala replies.
They click and even spend a blissful night together, but while Leyla's ready to declare them a couple, Tala's more concerned about her traditional Jordanian parents, not to mention her husband-to-be. Leyla's not out to her traditional Indian family either ( although her sister suspects, from seeing her collection of books and CDs ) , but she's ready to be.
As one obstacle is overcome another pops up, obviously just Sarif's way of delaying the inevitable and allowing more scenic shots of Amman, London and Oxford while cramming more songs onto the soundtrack.
It would be silly if it weren't played so seriously. About the only comic relief is an overused running gag about the housekeeper ( Nina Wadia ) spitting in the food of Tala's snobbish, bigoted mother ( Antonia Frering ) .
There are two minor gay male characters. Tala's fiancé has a brother, Sami ( Ishwar Maharaj ) , who "used to like musicals" and is "not interested in women"; and Tala's Uncle Ramzi ( George Tardios ) is as openly closeted as he can be.
I Can't Think Straight isn't great drama, but lesbians looking for eye candy shouldn't be disappointed.
Steve Warren is in the movie Scarce ( www.myspace.com/scarcemovie ) , available from Netflix, Blockbuster, Movie Gallery, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, TLA Video and other fine outlets.