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Review: Splitsville for 'Shirin in Love'

Movie review: A feeble story and cardboard characters make Ramin Niami's 'Shirin in Love' a comedy to be missed.

March 13, 2014|By Robert Abele
  • A scene from "Shirin In Love."
A scene from "Shirin In Love."

The only possible reaction to an amateurish romance like "Shirin in Love" is: Do the filmmakers think we're all idiots?

Practically every scene in this tale about a glamorous, unhappily engaged Los Angeles book reviewer (Nazanin Boniadi) with an eye for the handsome son (Riley Smith) of a reclusive novelist (Amy Madigan) is an abject filmmaking lesson in the many ways to irk moviegoers: cardboard characters, dippy plotting, sentimental overkill and tortuous logic.

The thinly conceived Shirin is ostensibly meant to embody the kind of young, vivacious Iranian American member of the "Tehran-geles" community who finds it hard to balance cultural tradition with independence.

But writer-director Ramin Niami, in a feeble attempt to mix screwball comedy and Harlequin neo-gothic, treats everyone like a stereotype, most obnoxiously the clownish plastic surgeon fiancé (a mugging Maz Jobrani) and Shirin's scheming, overbearing Beverly Hills mom (Anahita Khalatbari), who wouldn't be out of place on "Shahs of Sunset." 

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Boniadi, who was memorable last season as a CIA analyst on "Homeland," looks especially lost navigating Shirin's exhaustingly inconsistent emotional terrain: ditzy, then observant, then unthinking, then sweet, then inconsiderate, then you just don't care anymore.

"Shirin in Love." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes. At AMC Burbank Town Center 8, Laemmle's Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and Laemmle Town Center 5 in Encino.

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