Last night, Donovan and I attended the Opening Gala of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, and watched the opening film of this year’s festival, “I Can’t Think Straight.” The South Asian film takes place between Jordan and London and is the story of two unsuspecting women that find true love – in each other. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. I haven’t seen very many lesbian films, and going into the festival where the theme this year is “Satisfy Your Cravings,” a film where two guys fall in love would be right up my… Well, you know what I mean. But, I have to say I was PLEASANTLY surprised.
Here’s the description of the film…
Leyla (Sheetal Sheth from Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World) is doing everything she can to be a good Indian girl: she lives under her parents’ roof, works hard for her father’s business and dates a successful Indo-British guy. Meanwhile, in a lavish Jordanian mansion, Tala (Lisa Ray from The World Unseen, Bollywood/Hollywood), a headstrong Christian Palestinian, is planning her wedding day. But when these two women meet by chance and become fast “friends” their lives are turned upside down. Both characters soon find themselves questioning whether their undeniable attraction can coexist with their traditions and conventions. A bigger question still: how in the world will they come out to their parents? I Can’t Think Straight is an apt mixture of humour, sexy scenes and cross-cultural commentary that will satisfy both romantic comedy fans and contemporary drama enthusiasts.
I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much in a film. My favorite characters, humor-wise, were the mothers of each of the women – they were so traditional in their own ways / cultures and so blind to their judgments and prejudices which was very comical to bring light to. The maid that keeps trying to serve the mother a drink that she has spit in is priceless.
When these two women make love for the first time, I was um, how do I say this, actually aroused and I don’t even like women in that way! It was shot so well, and with such a build up, the intensity between the actresses was breathtaking. Forget “I Can’t Think Straight,” “I Can’t Be Thinking Lesbian”, what’s going on! Haha – but seriously, these two women were absolutely beautiful.
This film was created by Shamim Sarif, an acclaimed novelist of South Asian and South African heritage who made her directorial debut with the award-winning film The World Unseen (2008 Vancouver Queer Film Festival). I Can’t Think Straight is Sarif’s second feature film, which not only brings bold lesbian characters to the big screen, but also has the rare distinction of being written, directed, financed and produced almost entirely by women. We had the pleasure of having her graciously introduce the film, and looking back you can see where the humor comes from in the film – she was pretty funny!
This film won Audience Choice for Best Feature Film at the 2009 Melbourne Queer Film Festival and I would be very surprised if it didn’t take away some awards here at the Vancouver Film Festival.
The next showing will be on Tuesday, August 18th at Cinemark Tinseltown at 9:30pm. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS FILM!
Here is the trailer for the film: