Oct 29, 2013

A Touch of Pink: Whiny Gay Guy, Free-Spirit Bisexual, and Cougar Mom

In A Touch of Pink (2004), Pakistani-Canadian Alim (Jimi Mistry) is living in London, with some kind of behind-the-scenes job in the movies.  He is morose, depressed, and quirky, always having conversations with his imaginary friend, Cary Grant (Kyle MacLachlan).  But he still manages to land a partner, bisexual free-spirit economist Giles (Kris Holden-Ried).

There are free-spirit economists?

Then Alim's bitter, fault-finding Mom, Nuru (Suleka Mathew), arrives from Canada for a visit.

You know what that means: hid all the gay books and beefcake photos, move Giles to the guest bedroom, and pretend that you're engaged to his sister.  You've only seen that a few dozen times before.

But you haven't seen what happens next.

 Giles flirts openly with Nuru, calling her "beautiful," and taking her out for a romantic day of sightseeing and dancing cheek-to-cheek.  At this point, I assumed that the Giles would end up dumping Alim for Nuru.  But that's not the direction the movie takes.

Roiling with jealousy over the Giles-Mom romance, Alim decides to come out in stupidest way possible -- by showing Mom a nude photo of Giles.

Wait -- that's supposed to put the kibosh on her romantic interest?

All hell breaks loose. Nuru returns to Canada, and Giles is so upset over the loss of his cougar girlfriend that he breaks up with Alim and starts dating an Olympic Gold Medalist.

Right, whenever you break up with a guy, Olympic Gold Medalists are always waiting to zoom in.

But not to worry, Nuru switches from homophobe to gay-rights activist overnight, and finds a new beau, a poetic janitor.  Giles and Alim reconcile. Deciding that he doesn't need an imaginary friend anymore, Alim dismisses Cary Grant.  Cue the fade-out kiss.

There were a few interesting bits:
1. Cary Grant behaves exactly like what you would expect: "Hide everything!"
2. Alim's cousin is gay but intends to marry anyway to "keep up appearances.
3. The Nuru-Alim-Giles love triangle
4. Nuru's conflicting attitudes toward the West.  She grew up watching old Cary Grant movies,  discovered that the real London was nothing like that, and now hates all things Western.  But not really.

But that's not enough to overcome the tired, contrived ending,  or the whiny, unpleasant character of Alim.

By the way, the title is a parody of That Touch of Mink (1962), a Cary Grant-Doris Day romantic comedy that no one except movie buffs has ever heard of