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Lonely in America

The Thalia's Singles Film Festival (December 1 through 15) offers a nightly reception, discussion, and a how-to-meet-your- mate video (yours for $2)—along with one simplistic showcase film, Lonely in America. Not long after arriving in Manhattan, Indian immigrant Arun (Ranjit Chowdhry) escapes the family business and an arranged marriage. His struggle for success involves various broadly drawn types, including a philandering executive who lets Arun live in his "love nest," an insensitive mail clerk, and a Princeton-educated bum who counsels him at the crucial moment.

Director Barry Alexander Brown aims for humor, but most of the sight gags (fun with escalators, Scotch tape, and pants stuck at the ankles) fall flat. Stiff acting, improbable dialogue, and distractingly noncontemporary music make this journey a tedious one. Chowdhry is suitably earnest, but it's hard to believe in a guy who thinks the Bible is a good pickup tool because it's a popular book. If Lonely in America is any indication of this festival's relevance, single New Yorkers are better off just hitting the bars.


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