Mallika Sherawat's Aretha encounters Brian J. White's Kyle,… (Sam Urdank )
The clever and lively "Politics of Love" sets a romantic comedy against the 2008 presidential election and affords fine parts for its stars, Mallika Sherawat and Brian J. White. Inevitably, there's a twinge in watching a movie centered on an election that inspired such high hopes from today's troubled perspective, but on its own terms, "Politics of Love" emerges as an amusing entertainment.
It's an encouraging accomplishment not only for its stars but also for its skillful director, William Dear, and writer Gary Goldstein, a freelance film critic for the Los Angeles Times.
Sherawat's Aretha Gupta, laid off from her job as a special events coordinator, arrives from New York to her Florida hometown just as the campaign is heating up. Her father's Indian restaurant, where she goes to work, is next door to the Obama headquarters, and she soon becomes the campaign's volunteer coordinator. While jogging she encounters White's Kyle, and mutual attraction sparks. That he turns out to be her counterpart in the John McCain campaign does not derail their romance — but some entirely credible dirty politics proves a serious threat.
Sherawat and White receive strong support from, among others, Gerry Bednob as Aretha's loving father and from those stalwarts Loretta Devine (as Aretha's mother) and Ruby Dee (as her grandmother.)
"Politics of Love" is easy to take.
"Politics of Love." No MPAA rating. Running time 1 hour, 28 minutes. At Laemmle's Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills; and the Naz 8 Cinemas, Lakewood.