Oh, goodie, another "my old-country ethnic family doesn't understand me" comedy. As if it weren't bad enough that skin color is just about the only thing that ever differs among films in this repetitive genre, the core plot of "Touch of Pink" is a less sincere, simple-minded, cutesy carbon copy of the one movie of its ilk that ever broke away from conventions -- Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet."
Just as in that observant and poignantly funny 1993 art-house hit, "Pink" is about a gay (that's the departure) immigrant (in this case, Pakistani Jimi Mistry) trying to climb back into the closet for a visit from his conservative, traditional, marriage-minded mother (the far too young Suleka Mathew) -- insisting that his English boyfriend (Kristen Holden-Ried) pretend to be just a roommate, etc. In both films, comedy ensues as little white lies snowball, but eventually the parents come to accept the son's lifestyle -- a change that in this case amounts to a virtual personality transplant.
But while "Banquet" turned stereotypes into fully fleshed-out characters, this picture doesn't even try. Writer-director Ian Iqbal Rashid offers up only the overly earnest hamming of Mistry ("The Guru"), which quickly wears thin (he has the look of a comedian trying to go straight, please pardon the pun), and a quaint little gimmick in which the uptight hero gets a lot of vaguely bad advice on being cool and suave from an imaginary friend -- Cary Grant. Yes, the Cary Grant (the title is a goof on one of his films), played by Kyle MacLachlan ("Blue Velvet," "Dune") as a passably witty smattering of mannerisms, voice inflections, and mixed-up quotes from the actor's most famous movies.
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