A Quarter-Life Crisis and Culture-Clashing Love Story Shirin in Love

Nazanin Boniadi and Riley Smith.
Nazanin Boniadi and Riley Smith.

It's estimated that hundreds of thousands of former Iranian nationals and their offspring live in Los Angeles (especially between Beverly Hills and West L.A., the heart of "Tehrangeles"), so it can't be said there's not an audience for this utterly vanilla Iranian-Angelino romantic comedy.

Written, produced, directed, edited, and stultified by Ramin Niami, this narrative mash-up of quarter-life crisis and gentle culture clashing stars Homeland's Nazanin Boniadi as Shirin — a moony part-time book critic for her dreadfully domineering mother's lifestyle rag.

Her quirkiness defined by frequent traffic violations and run-ins with George Wallace's softhearted cop in her beloved VW beetle, the bane of her mom's status-seeking existence, Shirin feels trapped by her cultural community and engagement to an Iranian plastic surgeon.


Shirin in Love
Written and directed by Ramin Niami
Sideshow Releasing
Opens March 14, AMC Empire 25

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But we know the formula, so when she winds up on assignment to interview a reclusive novelist (Amy Madigan), of course she'll fall for the writer's sensitive, white-bread son who lives in a lighthouse (Riley Smith).

Aside from a handful of translated Farsi colloquialisms ("Has your brain flown away?" meaning "Are you out of your mind?") and a multiculti soundtrack, there's very little to distinguish this from every other characterless rom-com with a demographically marketable hook.

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