David & Layla Reviews
David finds himself falling hard for Layla, and the story centers on their courtship and the problems that inevitably arise in a cross-cultural romance, especially considering that David is a Jew whilst Layla is a Muslim. Needless to say, both families are not too thrilled at the couple‚??s romance ‚?? David‚??s mother, Judith (Polly Fine) is a typical Jewish mother who is horrified at the prospect of getting a shiksa daughter-in-law, especially a Muslim! Peter Van Wagner turns in a fine performance as Mel, David‚??s laidback and empathetic father.
The two leads share a credible on-screen chemistry that makes the viewer buy into the love at first sight premise (well for David at least). Shiva Rose (ex-wife of actor Dylan McDermott) is compelling and sexy as the lovely Layla who harbors within her a poetic and sensitive soul, who loves to dance and resorts to lying to her relatives (telling them she attends nursing school) whilst moonlighting as a traditional dancer in a local establishment. Unfortunately, so much is crammed into the storytelling, that not enough time is spent focusing on what draws Layla to David and vice versa, in terms of genuine feelings and depth of emotion. The story is packed with too many characters, and though the supporting cast does a good job, I felt this was a classic example of ‚??too many cooks spoiling the broth‚??.
The cultural differences are explored using humor ‚?? the scene where Layla attends Passover dinner at David‚??s house, bringing inappropriate hostess gifts is one among many scenes peppered throughout the movie. But, once again, this felt a bit derivative to me ‚?? if Layla truly loved David, then why did she not make the effort to find out what would make an appropriate Passover gift? Also, it felt to me like David was the one willing to make the most accommodations in the relationship.
Ultimately, I thought the movie was a fun exploration of an inter-religious romance, but it does approach the story in an almost trivial manner ‚?? there is no real, genuine, in-depth exploration of the complexities inherent within such relationships. I should know, being in a cross-cultural marriage myself. Final verdict ‚?? a fun movie with generally good acting, and should make good entertainment for those who like rom-coms.