Writer/director Shamim Sarif’s I Can’t Think Straight carries the tagline “Just another British, Indian, Muslim, Arab, Christian, lesbian romantic comedy.” So while this film may be the first of its genre, it’s also definitely a lesbian must-see.
Opposites attract when Tala (Lisa Ray), a feisty Christian Jordanian based in London, meets Leyla (Sheetal Sheth), a shy British Muslim Indian. How’s that for diversity? Though Tala is engaged and Leyla is dating Ali, Tala’s best friend, their immediate connection is undeniable and fun to watch. They confess their feelings for each other, but Tala believes that pursuing a lesbian relationship wouldn’t be acceptable in her country. Sadly, they part ways–Tala returns to Jordan, where her all-about-appearances socialite mother is still planning her wedding. Leyla takes a different path, breaking up with Ali and coming out to her parents. Tala eventually realizes what she wants in life, but to win Leyla back she has to learn to be honest with herself and those close to her.
The film explores theology, expectations of women in different cultures, and the difficulty and importance of coming out. These issues are handled gracefully, with feminist overtones. The message about being true to oneself comes through loud and clear, but isn’t overbearing. Despite the inclusion of heavy themes, I Can’t Think Straight maintains a lighthearted and sexy tone, perfect for a date, an evening with friends, or a night home alone. Plus, Sarif doesn’t skimp on the intimate scenes, which adds a refreshing element of depth, authenticity, and of course, hotness. Basically, with two beautiful leading ladies, a happy ending, and an uplifting message, you can’t go wrong.
An Enlightenment Productions film, I Can’t Think Straight was produced, directed and financed almost entirely by women. To view stills or find markets, festivals and cinemas showing the movie, go to www.icantthinkstraightfilm.com.