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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.26%
Worth A Look30.23%
Average: 16.28%
Pretty Bad: 2.33%
Total Crap: 27.91%

4 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Touch of Pink
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by Jay Seaver

"An enjoyable (mostly) light comedy"
4 stars

The "coming-out comedy" is a curious little subgenre. It requires a certain minimum acceptance of homosexuality in society to be believable, but also a certain maximum acceptance to create comic tension. Eventually, the form will burn out as the idea of "coming out of the closet" becomes an anachronism. With any luck, that will happen quickly enough that audiences won't have enough time to notice that even movies as clever as Touch Of Pink look vaguely like In & Out.

That's not bad company to have, and Touch of Pink has enough creativity to distinguish itself from the pack. It borrows the lavish wedding background from other recent movies featuring Indian protagonists (Bend It Like Beckham, Monsoon Wedding, Bollywood/Hollywood), but its most entertaining feature is that Amil (Jimi Mistry) has, in addition to his boyfriend of a year Giles (Kristen Holden-Reid), an imaginary friend, and this imaginary friend is Cary Grant, played with gusto by Kyle MacLachlan.

As Grant, MacLachlan exists to pump up Amil's confidence when he's feeling intimidated, to pepper the film with one-liners when it threatens to slow down, and serve as a father figure when one is called for. Clearly, Grant's movies have loomed large in Amil's life: He quotes Charade while in bed with Giles and works as a still photographer on a London movie set. Meanwhile, in Toronto, his mother Nuru (Suleka Mathew) is feeling jealous as her sister plans an elaborate wedding for her son Khalil, which leads to Nuru giving Amil a visit.

I gather writer/director Ian Iqbal Rashid has a fondness for old movies, too, as Touch of Pink features a fair amount of the sort of rapid-fire dialogue that distinguished thirties comedies, my favorite being an exchange between Nuru and Amil )"They say laughter is the best medicine." / "Then I must be in the placebo group."). And while early on it seems as though Rashid has simply traded gay stereotypes in for Indian ones, he and his cast do a good job of making his characters individuals. Nuru, especially, is more than she initially appears.

It's a nice cast; while MacLachlan is probably the only immediately recognizable member of the cast for Americans - relatively few saw Mistry in The Guru, though many including Suleka Mathew and Brian George (as Amil's uncle) will seem familiar from appearing on TV shows which shoot north of the border - everyone gives their characters what they need. It's a somewhat stylized farce at many points, a deliberate throwback to a different period, so a few somewhat exaggerated performances are forgivable. I personally saw perhaps a little Tony Randall slipping into MacLachlan's Cary Grant, but that doesn't make it a less entertaining performance.

It's a shame that this movie is the type that tends to fall between the cracks. A mainstream audience may overlook it because "it's a gay movie" or "it's an Indian movie", when it is basically a comedy that centers on gay/Indian characters, while the boutique audience can easily dismiss it for having few ambitions beyond making people laugh - it's not about being gay or a minority in straight white Toronto.

What it is, is funny. It may not quite have Grant's effortless charm, but it certainly does all right with what it has.

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originally posted: 07/24/04 06:45:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/23/05 Jamie Williams disagree with review, loved it! 5 stars
11/04/04 Juan Carlos Great Movie!!! So true, great cast, great story!! congrats! 5 stars
10/01/04 Elizabeth Amusing performance by Kyle MacLachlan; plot is cliched. 3 stars
8/10/04 Lori J. Ness Pleasantly surprised. Funny, great music and great director or photography! 4 stars
8/05/04 beian reminds me of Amelie 5 stars
8/04/04 sean beckett good movie.....a little cliche but fun! 4 stars
7/21/04 Emily How about "My Beautiful Laundrette"? There's a relationship worth saving. 2 stars
7/20/04 walter GOOD 5 stars
7/19/04 Dax Belanger I toatally disagree with the lambasting Ekik laid on Touch Of Pink. I saw it last night it 5 stars
7/08/04 Bob Some very funny lines; plot's a bit weak in places. 4 stars
6/29/04 pappy A really enjoyable film without the overkill 4 stars
6/23/04 rob movie had some very funny lines..enjoyable 4 stars
6/19/04 savance Unique personal film blending many styles adeptly 4 stars
6/14/04 Ahimsa I thought this movie was absolutely wonderful! 5 stars
6/03/04 JIm Lowe Fantastic! Excellent opener for Lake Placid Film Festival! Loved the quick wit script! 5 stars
6/01/04 tony souza clever, witty, well crafted film not for racists or homophobes - well received in toronto 5 stars
5/04/04 Harman One of the best films I've seen! Heartfelt, funny and layers of depth to the writing. 5 stars
4/05/04 steven spielberg erik, i think you're probably as dumb as a bag of hammers. i don't know what movie you s 4 stars
2/10/04 JJ Beautifully written, intelligent humour, a film worth seeing 5 stars
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  16-Jul-2004 (R)
  DVD: 11-Jan-2005



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