TV & Movies

What's Love Got To Do With It? Review: A Rom-Com That Doesn't Stick The Landing

Most of “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” works because of its stellar cast. While there aren’t a lot of big names here, there’s not a weak player among them. James is fantastic as Zoe, the woman the action revolves around. She’s played many characters in different time periods, from Lady Rose in “Downton Abbey” to Pam in “Pam & Tommy,” but she’s also excellent as a girl in modern times who’s just trying to figure it all out. Latif is also strong as Kaz. He’s convincing in his commitment to following his parents’ example and going with an arranged marriage, despite his feelings for Zoe. Kaz and Zoe don’t project their feelings for one another as much as they could, but said feelings are wrapped up in a lot of baggage, making their moves toward rom-com happiness understandably subtle instead of grand.

Then there are the parents. Shabana Azmi and Jeff Mirza are fantastic as Kaz’s parents, especially Azmi. Emma Thompson is also delightful as Zoe’s mom Cath, although her ridiculous comments about Muslim weddings being exotic will not be embraced by everyone. 

Ushering everyone through their paces is director Shekhar Kapur, who you might know from films including “Elizabeth” and “The Four Feathers.” He manages to effectively juxtapose scenes of Bollywood-style dancing and celebration with less glamorous sequences in which Zoe and Kaz fight or debate marriage, and never lose anything in either instance.

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